CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (Oct. 17, 2012) – Details are released about Saturday’s transcontinental duet performed for a live audience of 4,000 in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Grammy winning producer and musician T-Bone Burnett performed “The Wild Side of Life” with BR549 founder Chuck Mead. The Chattanooga audience witnessed live collaboration between Burnett from a Los Angeles studio, and Mead on stage in Chattanooga, using gigabit-per-second Internet connectivity and new video conferencing technology.
The video conferencing technology, LOLA (LOw LAtency audio visual streaming system), was developed jointly by the Tartini Music Conservatory in Trieste, Italy and Consortium GARR in conjunction with Dr. Brian Shepard at USC Thornton School of Music. While most videoconference systems induce latency of a half-second or more, LOLA has been designed to bring the processing latency down to only a few milliseconds. As a result, musicians can actually perform together at great distances.
The latency recorded for Saturday’s duet was 67 milliseconds, meaning audio and video traveled 2100 miles from Chattanooga to Los Angeles, in less time than the blink of an eye.
LOLA was connected to the gigabit-per-second fiber optic network built and operated by Chattanooga’s electric power and communications provider, EPB. The EPB network then delivered the signal to the Los Angeles studio through an Internet 2 connection.
“This kind of musical collaboration is only possible with very high-speed Internet networks,” said Brian Shepard, Associate professor of Pedagogical Technology in the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California. “LOLA uses 500 Mbps (megabits-per-second) to operate, while most so-called broadband connections range in the 2 -10 Mbps range,” he said.
The long distance duet was a collaboration among the Annenberg Innovation Lab at the University of Southern California, The Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California, EPB Fiber Optics, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Nashville’s “Music City Roots” live variety show and RiverRocks Chattanooga.
Video and audio footage of the event available here.
In 1935, the City of Chattanooga established EPB as a nonprofit agency to provide electric power to the greater Chattanooga area. Today, EPB remains one of the largest publicly-owned electric power distributors in the country, serving more than 170,000 homes and businesses in a 600-square-mile area that includes greater Chattanooga and Hamilton County, portions of surrounding Tennessee counties and areas of North Georgia. Using a 100% fiber optic network as its backbone, EPB is constructing a Smart Grid, a next-generation electric system that includes communication capabilities designed to reduce the impact of power outages, improve response time and allow customers greater control of their electric power usage. This same fiber optic backbone is allowing EPB to offer high-speed Internet, TV and phone service to business and residential customers community-wide. In September 2010, EPB became the first company in the United States to offer one gigabit-per-second Internet speed to the entire service territory.
About the Thornton School of Music
Led by Dean Dr. Robert A. Cutietta, the USC Thornton School of Music brings together a stellar faculty chosen from a broad spectrum of the music profession and musically gifted students from around the globe. Founded in 1884, and today the oldest continually operating cultural institution in Los Angeles, the Thornton School consistently ranks among the top one percent of the nation's music schools and conservatories. Graduates of the school attain positions with major orchestras, ensembles, recording studios and music industry firms and perform on stages and in studios around the world.
About the Annenberg Innovation Lab
The USC Annenberg Innovation Lab focuses on media, culture, and society as the basis for innovation at the intersection of art, science, design, and engineering. At the Lab, experts from academia, private and public sector firms, and not-for-profit organizations come together to define, create and disperse culturally relevant applications, platforms, media genres, and practices. The Lab's mission is to be a leading innovator and advisor on transformational changes happening in our participatory cultures.