Thesis Info

Thesis Title
Latency: Music Composition and Technology Solutions for Perception of Synchrony in “ResoNations 2010: An International Telematic Music Concert for Peace”
Sarah Weaver
2nd Author
3rd Author
Master of Music in Music Technology
Number of Pages
New York University
Thesis Supervisor
Robert Rowe
Supervisor e-mail
robert.rowe AT
Other Supervisor(s)
Reader: Morwaread Farbood
Language(s) of Thesis
Department / Discipline
Steinhardt School, Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions, Music Technology Program
Languages Familiar to Author
URL where full thesis can be found
telematic, music, composition, technology, international, united nations, latency, peace
Abstract: 200-500 words
Telematic music is live performance via high-bandwidth internet by performers in different geographic locations. Latency is a fundamental aspect of telematic music technology as its threshold is key in creating perception of synchrony. Synchrony in this study is defined as perception of simultaneity of distributed temporal components. Without this perception the music can become another format of distance collaboration such as network music or distributed music, but it would not be specifically telematic. Telepresence is another closely related term that indicates synchrony though does not specifically refer to the internet. Synchronous performance-quality audio via the internet validates telematic music as an artistic medium. The topic of latency is a critical focus since the highest levels of telematic music technology available can operate very close to synchrony and become within range of this perception by applying specific strategies to the technology. Music composition strategies are an equal factor since music can compress and elongate perception of time. The combination of technology and music composition strategies can produce solutions for perception of synchrony in telematic music. Past studies in music latency have included synchronization across temporal separation at 3-78ms using hand clapping (Chafe C, Cáceres J-P, Gurevich M, 2010), effects and benefits for temporal stability with moderate delay in hand clapping (Chafe C, Gurevich M, 2004) (Chafe C, Gurevich M, Leslie G, Tyan S, 2004), and hand clapping in various acoustic environments with 6-68ms latency (Farner S, Solvang A, Sæbø A, Svensson U P, 2009). The study of latency and synchronization has also been extended broadly within perceptual fields such as nonlinear sciences (Pikovsky A, Rosenblum M, Kurths J, 2003) and in telecommunications exploring how we may not mind if there is latency (Holub J, Kastner M, Tomiska O, 2007). The threshold of 25ms has been identified largely in the field as the upper limit of real time perception. However in music the perception of synchrony is more central since music can still sound together even if it is not in real time. This study demonstrates the latency can be higher for perception of synchrony in music when working with effective music composition and technology strategies. Latency within “ResoNations 2010: An International Telematic Music Concert for Peace” is an illustrative study. The concert took place December 3, 2010 between the United Nations Headquarters in New York, China Electronic Music Center at the Beijing Conservatory of Music, and Umyon Theater at the National Center for Korean Traditional Performing Arts in Seoul. Three telematic music compositions were premiered at the concert. The premiere of these new compositions gave a forum for thorough exploration of latency strategies in music composition. The latency of geographic distance on fiber optic internet is approximately 5ms per 1000km which is slightly more than the speed of light 3ms per 1000km due to routing. With the amount of sites involved, the geographic distance between the sites, and the internet bridging between IPv4, IPv6, commercial and research networks, the latency technology strategies were challenging to apply within range of perception of synchrony at performance-quality audio. The method of this study outlines technology strategies and music composition strategies to overcome latency for perception of synchrony in ResoNations. Objective measurements were taken from the internet connection, software, and hardware. The measurements are diagrammed in relationship to the 25ms real time threshold. A qualitative study acquired subjective measurements through a survey of musicians and listeners on their perception of synchrony in the music compositions. Both objective and subjective measurements are documented from all three physical concert venues and the virtual venue of the webstream. The goal of the thesis in correlating these results is to indicate music composition and technology solutions for perception of synchrony above the established 25ms real time threshold to show viability for ResoNations as a telematic music project within a higher latency range. Abstract Bibliography: 1. Chafe C, Cáceres J-P, Gurevich M, 2010 "Effect of temporal separation on synchronization in rhythmic performance" Perception, Vol. 39, No. 7, pp. 982- 992. 2. Chafe C, Gurevich M, 2004 "Network time delay and ensemble accuracy: Effects of latency, asymmetry" Audio Engineering Society 117th Convention Paper. 3. Chafe C, Gurevich M, Leslie G, Tyan S, 2004 "Effect of time delay on ensemble accuracy" Proceedings of the International Symposium on Musical Acoustics, Kyoto Musical Acoustics Research Group, Nara, Japan. 4. Farner S, Solvang A, Sæbø A, Svensson U P, 2009 "Ensemble hand-clapping experiments under the influence of delay and various acoustic environments" Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, Vol. 57, pp. 1028-1041. 5. Holub J, Kastner M, Tomiska O, 2007 "Delay effect on conversational quality in telecommunication networks: Do we mind?" Wireless Telecommunications Symposium Paper. 6. Pikovsky A, Rosenblum M, Kurths J, 2003 “Synchronization: A Universal Concept in Nonlinear Sciences” First edition, Cambridge University Press. Abstract Appendix: 1. ResoNations 2010: An International Telematic Music Concert for Peace December 3, 2010 9:00pm-10:30pmEST Renowned musicians from geographic locations around the world premiere contemporary telematic music compositions for peace, written by composers from each participating country for the full telematic ensemble. Presented by Arts for Peace of WAFUNIF. Sponsored by the Permanent Mission of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations. Locations: December 3, 2010 9:00pmEST United Nations Headquarters in New York, with technical support from New York University. December 4, 2010 10:00amCST China Electronic Music Center, Beijing, China, with support from Syneme, University of Calgary December 4, 2010 11:00amKST Umyon Theater, National Center for Korean Traditional Performing Arts, Seoul, Korea, with support from Audio and Interactive Media (AIM) Lab, Graduate School of Culture Technology (GSCT), KAIST Opening Remarks: Mr. Abdulkaleq Bin-Dhaaer Al-Yafei, Minister Plenipotentiary, Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations Composers: Min Xiao-Fen, China, Yoon Jeong Heo, Korea, Sarah Weaver, USA Performers: United Nations Headquarters in New York - Jen Shyu, voice, Jane Ira Bloom, soprano saxophone, Min Xiao-Fen, pipa, Mark Dresser, bass, Satoshi Takeishi, percussion, Sarah Weaver, conductor Beijing - Wu Na, guqin, Yan Jun, voice, electronics, Yang Min, trombone, Wang Lichuan, Chinese hand drums Seoul - Chi-wan Park, piri, Hyang Hee Lee, seng hwang, Yoon-Jeong Heo, geomungo, Woong-sik Kim, Korean percussion, Woon Seung Yeo, visuals Technologists: United Nations Headquarters in New York - Tom Beyer, Charles Hagaman, Senem Pirler, Joshua Guthals Beijing/Calgary - Kenneth Fields, Mungo Zhang Ruibo, Lee Kram, Wang Haku, Ellen Pearlman, Raj Gill Seoul - Woon Seung Yeo, Kwan Kim, Jungsub Lee