Two Norwegian universities have launched a joint master programme to train students in musical and artistic collaboration over the Internet. Norway’s R&E network Uninett provides super-fast connectivity for a portal connecting two dedicated experimental labs, 500 km apart.
Although an hour’s flight away from each other, Master students at the University of Oslo and NTNU, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, can play music, have discussions, and socialize in near-to real time. A distributed lab, equipped via high speed video conferencing technologies, connects experimental rooms at each university and allows for close musical and artistic interaction in spite of the distance between them.
The joint master program “Music, Communication and Technology” targets students with a passion for music and an interest in cutting-edge technologies. It aims to qualify people for jobs related to interactive concert experiences, sonic interaction design, interactive music therapy, audio-visual production, and interaction design for museums and exhibitions.
Uninett is an important contributor to the master program, supplying it with network capacity together with interaction technologies developed by Czech r&e network CESNET and Italian r&e network GARR. This gives the students possibilities to experiment with state-of-the-art facilities, including motion capture systems, music production studios, and large loudspeaker arrays. On a theoretical level, the program touches on topics like acoustics, music cognition, machine learning and human-computer interaction.
The new master programme was officially launched Wednesday 29th August 2018 by the rectors of the two universities, with guests at both “ends” of the distributed lab.
According to the initiators of the new master program, music is at the core, but the scope is larger:
– You will be educated as a technological humanist, with technical, reflective and aesthetic skills. We believe that the solutions to tomorrow’s societal challenges need to be based on intimate links between technological competence, musical sensibility, humanistic reflection, and a creative sense.
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