Collaborative Performance Experiments in the Distributed Immersive Performance Project

 Elaine Chew, USC Integrated Media Systems Center

Seminar on People, Computers, and Design
Stanford University May 13, 2005

The Distributed Immersive Performance (DIP) project explores musical collaboration that is remote and synchronous, one of the most challenging applications of networked media technology. This presentation reports on experiments on collaborative performance in an environment constrained by network latency and reduced physical presence, and metrics for measuring the psychophysical and perceptual effects of performing under such conditions so as to determine the thresholds for usability and bottlenecks for improving remote human interaction. I shall describe the evolution of the DIP project from our first informal two-way audio-only musical duet, to the comprehensively documented and systematic experiments of musical collaboration between the members of the Tosheff Piano Duo (Vely Stoyanova and Ilia Tosheff), and present results from our experiments on musician preferences and necessary conditions for effective collaboration in remote interaction that may appear to be counter-intuitive. By understanding users' needs and preferences in synchronous collaborative performance, we progress towards the designing of better systems for enabling effective collaboration over distance.

This is work done with Sandy Sawchuk, Roger Zimmermann, Christos Papadopoulos, and Chris Kyriakakis.

Elaine Chew is Assistant Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering and Research Area Director at the Integrated Media Systems Center in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. Her research interests center on computer modeling of music cognition, analysis and performance, for which she received a 2004 NSF Career award. She holds a PhD and an SM degree from the Operations Research Center at MIT, a BAS and Mathematical and Computational Sciences and Music Performance from Stanford University, and FTCL and LTCL diplomas in piano performance from Trinity College, London. She has served as Affiliated Artist of MIT's Music and Theater Arts (1998-2000), and performs extensively as a pianist, including in the experimental concerts Flying Sonics - a tale of immersive audio and diverse instruments (2002) with colleagues Dennis Thurmond and Chris Kyriakakis, and Dark Blue Sky Dream (2003) at the Oakland Planetarium with Julia Ogrydziak..


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