Archive for the ‘webcast’ Category

In case you missed the live stream of Joyce DiDonato’s master class at Juilliard in January, most of it has now been posted on YouTube, courtesy of Juilliard’s YouTube channel.  Many thanks to Ms. DiDonato for having the idea to live-stream her class, Juilliard for making it happen, and the young artists in the master class for sharing their art and their learning experiences. Enjoy!

(P.S. Speaking of YouTube, if you read my blog post about downloading YouTube videos on your iPad to watch offline and are using the iCab Mobile browser to do this, DO NOT upgrade beyond version 6.8 or you will lose this capability!  Apple cracked down on the developer and forced them to remove this feature.  I’ll blog more about this later, as well as which video download app I switched to.)

Juilliard Master Class With Joyce DiDonato: Introduced by Brian Zeger (6:25)

Juilliard Master Class With Joyce DiDonato: Virginie Verrez, Oh! La pitoyable aventure (24:49)

Juilliard Master Class With Joyce DiDonato: Deanna Breiwick, En proie à la tristesse (34:24)

Juilliard Master Class With Joyce DiDonato: Q&A (32:37)

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Last Thursday I had the pleasure of meeting for coffee with Dan Molkentin, co-founder and co-artistic director of SingersBabel, the subscription-based website with lyric diction resources. He happened to be in town for the Music Library Association conference, so we took the opportunity to get together and talk shop. I knew at once that he was a kindred spirit when our conversation ranged from web technology stacks, media workflows, and website project management, to textual discrepancies in different composers’ setting of the same poems, Italianate vs. German Latin, and whether we should be rolling or vanishing our final R’s in German.

One piece of SingersBabel news that Dan shared was that they will be introducing Russian resources to the website in coming weeks. The resources will include multimedia guides for learning the basic sounds of the language, as well as guides for specific texts and repertoire. Speaking of repertoire, Dan tells me that the repertoire guides on the site will focus on choral works and oratorio, with a bit of art song to boot. (Although I REALLLLY hope – pretty please – that they’ll consider bringing some opera people on board to produce diction resources for the operatic repertoire and Italian. There’s an untapped market there, and even if they just did the arias from those ubiquitous Larsen anthologies, I bet they’d get business from a bunch of vocal performance majors and the like.)

We also talked about the recent SingersBabel website testing program, which I participated in.  One thing that I discovered in the course of testing is that the website has many more resources than I thought; it’s just that they’re hard to find (and the SingersBabel team is working to rectify that).  A sampling of notable resources:

Dan shared some other online music resources with me as well.  One of them, Peachnote, is something I’ve been meaning to check out for a while.  From what I’ve gathered, Peachnote is a provider of a number of interesting music technologies, but one that particularly attracted Dan’s interest was Peachnote’s platform for collaborative online multimedia annotation of music scores.  In plain English, that means that you can use Peachnote’s score viewer to annotate the score with your own text, audio, or video notes and also view annotations that others have added.  Here’s a screen capture of Peachnote’s score viewer with annotations:


Peachnote also makes it possible to embed the score viewer in your own website, and in fact the viewer is already in use over at IMSLP with a number of scores.  For example, you can go to the IMSLP page for Le nozze di Figaro, navigate to the full score for the overture, and click the “View” button:


The Peachnote viewer then displays the score, which someone has annotated with a YouTube video recording of a performance of the overture:


Dan also tipped me off to the Sparks and Wiry Cries blog and e-zine about art song.  (I can’t believe I’ve never stumbled upon this.)  From their masthead: “Our mission is to provide a virtual home for the art song community: performers, students, scholars and fans. We endeavor to provoke thoughtful discussion about the extraordinary art of song.”  One of their contributors is Emily Ezust, creator and maintainer of The Lied, Art Song, and Choral Texts Archive, and they have a number of other notable contributors as well.


Lastly, Dan mentioned Medici TV, a French website which offers free live broadcasting of concerts, operas, and ballets along with video on demand from their catalog of concerts and classical music documentaries.


Thank you, Dan, for our engaging and enlightening conversation, and best of luck with the SingersBabel venture!

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Mark your calendars for Joyce DiDonato‘s master class which will be live-streamed from Juilliard this coming Friday, January 25 at 4pm Eastern Standard Time via this link.  (And check out Juilliard’s YouTube channel for other master classes and videos.)



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This is more for those of you who are as hard-core at geekery as you are at singing.  There are a few days left to register for the first Classical Music Hack Day, taking place February 1-3, 2013 at mdw-University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, and presented by the Eliette and Herbert von Karajan Institute.  From the event website:

Developers, musicians and creative minds will gather to develop new applications for digital classical music reception. Live performances of our young musicians will allow developers to produce new content and data – a long weekend full of innovative possibilities in the field of music technology.

There are concerts, hacking, pitches, and project ideas on the agenda.  Projects proposed by participants so far include: sheet music hacking (@thomasbonte), mashing up the Europeana API against the Spotify API to help transcribe and analyse old scores (@bfk), automatic Bach generator (@thebluebadger), and “Interactive sheet music display Music21+ MuseScore iPad app with the recording made at CMHD + the sheet music, synced. Some more crazy stuff on the spot!” (@lasconic) which I don’t even know what that means, but it sounds exciting and geeky?!?

If you can’t attend in person, the presentation of hacks on the last day of the event will be live-streamed – stay tuned to their website for details.

This video playlist from Schola Cantorum provides more in-depth discussion of forScore‘s features, including annotation, editing score metadata (e.g. title, composer, period, keywords, etc.), and integrating on-device audio (i.e. linking audio files to scores so you can listen while you read).  The video is a follow-up webcast to the Using iPads and Tablets for Choir Rehearsal and Performance session.  Again, no iPad screen close-ups unfortunately but lots of good discussion and Q&A.

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This video playlist is a webcast of a presentation given to the singers of Schola Cantorum on using iPads and tablets for choir rehearsal and performance.  The first part of the presentation is about the practical and logistical considerations of using an iPad/tablet as a singer and in a choral setting.  There is much useful information and Q&A here, including many issues that you might not have thought of if this type of tablet use is new to you.  The last part is (more…)

I came across an article by  composer and conductor Reginald Unterseher titled “Enhanced Music Scores: more than notes on paper could ever be…looking back on the ‘00’s from the near future.”  Written in January 2010, it’s a future history of sorts that describes the transition to digital scores, and, well, digital everything.  Some of it is already coming true:

My singers use digital displays rather than paper. The displays are very light, lighter than some of the paper scores they used to hold when we did large works with orchestra, surprisingly thin, and easy to hold for a whole concert.

Some of it sounds technologically feasible but I’m not sure I like it.  In this scenario, I’m not so keen on the idea of a conductor remote-controlling my score:

I tell the singers “let’s start here,” touch the spot where I want us to begin, and all their scores go to that place. It flashes a couple of times so they can see exactly where it is. I touched the 2nd soprano and baritone lines and the starting and end points, so they all know exactly which section we are doing. We work through that passage a few times, and it is still shaky, so I assign that spot to their personal rehearsal list. It will stay on that list until they check it off . I have an automatic record of what I assigned, and when they check it off, it appears that way on my list.

Some of it piques my skepticism but also my interest.  Like this example, where “phoning it in” could actually be a good thing:

For this rehearsal, I was missing a couple singers due to illness and one due to a business trip. The sick ones were able to watch and listen to the rehearsal on the live webcast, log in to their scores via the internet, and partially participate in the rehearsal without infecting other singers. We missed their voices, and it was not as good as people actually singing together in the same physical space (which I think that nothing will ever replace), but they did not miss out nearly as much as they would have otherwise. The singer out on the business trip logged in later and got to see the podcast version of the rehearsal.

And a big point that he hammers home is…

The transition from paper to digital scores was challenging for publishers and music retailers. It required a new way of thinking about their role and what it is that they sell.

Unterseher has envisioned an interesting future that is not at all implausible from a technological standpoint; in many cases the individual tools already exist.  As I see it, though, that future will not arrive without 1) funding, 2) a change in mindset within the musical culture as to how we  performers approach score distribution and the rehearsal process, and 3) major upheaval in the music publishing industry, or at least some revolutionary changes.

Read Unterseher’s full article here.