Our music following technology in action

These past weeks, SampleSumo's music following technology has been used in two public events featuring Kimiko Ishizaka's performance of J.S. Bach's Goldberg Variations: one in a live concert setting, and the other in a radio broadcast setting.

Before we go into the two events, we should start with mentioning the Open Goldberg Variations project. This interesting initiative, led by Robert Douglass, started as a Kickstarter crowdfunding project with the goal to produce a new score and recording of the Goldberg Variations that are both placed in the public domain for everyone to enjoy. As Robert explains: "Bach wrote his seminal work over 270 years ago, yet public domain scores and recordings are hard or impossible to find." So, with the help of 406 backers, the project raised over $23000 to first create a new engraving of the Goldberg Variations using the MuseScore notation software, and then create a professional studio recording of the work performed by pianist Kimiko Ishizaka.
And it was this team that contacted us to setup the following two events.

The first one was in Munich (Germany) on June 1, 2012, at the new, international professionals forum for classical and art music called Classical:NEXT. Kimiko Ishizaka played a shortened version of the Goldberg variations live on stage, while SampleSumo's music following technology was used to allow the audience to follow along with the score as she was playing. Until now, we had been using the technology as an aid for the performing musicians themselves (score syncing, automatic page turning), and in this setup we also made the score syncing functionality available to the audience: they could watch the score following along the pianist on the projection wall, or could follow along on their own mobile device (iPad or other tablet device) by surfing to a website setup specifically for this live performance. Below is a video fragment from the start of the showcase, including a short introduction by Thomas Bonte from MuseScore (the performance starts around 2:05; the measure highlighting is a bit too light, but you can see the score follow along in sync with the performance):

The second event was more of an "online" event, and was a collaboration with the Wisconsin Public Radio station in Wisconsin (USA). On June 24, 2012 WPR aired the complete Open Goldberg Variations mentioned above, while the radio listeners were able to follow the digital score of the broadcast recording (event page). To make this possible, Robert Douglass used SampleSumo's music following technology that listened to the broadcast audio and sent out synchronization messages to the score display website setup by MuseScore, thus telling it about the current position in the score. Below is an interview on WPR with Robert the day before the event (we're mentioned around 15:10, when Robert talks about a few other possibilities to use this technology in the context of scores):

These two real-world cases are nice examples of how music/audio analysis technologies can enable music and broadcast industry companies to build new solutions for the digital music and media markets.

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