NYC Subway Performers Form First Wi-Fi Orchestra

ChrisShimojimaPublished: November 5, 2014509,868 views
Published: November 5, 2014

The advent of new musical instruments profoundly affects the overall evolution of music. Now there appeared electronic genres. The pioneer in this field was John Cage, a pupil of the leading avant-garde artist Arnold Schoenberg. It was his experiments that gave impetus to the development of almost the entire modern music industry.

Music ceased to exist only at the moment of performance: it is broadcast on the radio, recorded first on cassettes, and then CDs. Even the performers themselves can, while in different parts of the world, play simultaneously only one piece of music. This brings art to a completely new level.

At the end of October 2014, an unusual concert was held in New York. Under the direction of composer and violist Lev Zhurbin, 9 street musicians performed a musical piece at 9 different metro stations at the same time. Lev Zhurbin conducted musicians using Skype on 10 MacBooks. Communication was carried out via a WiFi network. Performers followed the movements of the conductor on their iPhones.

The musical composition of this unusual orchestra was eclectic: from a classical cello, a violin and double bass to guitar, African drums and termenoksa. It is noteworthy that there were no preliminary rehearsals.

The directors were Chris Shimojima and Anita Anthony. They arranged a preliminary casting, inviting street musicians to join the project. As Mr. Shimojima said: "Every day we use the metro and hear interesting performers. So what prevents to combine technology, cinema and New York with them, for the sake of a unique material? "

This experiment, called "Signal Strength", is interesting not only from a musical point of view. This news was presented on the Skype blog, and, as you know, Microsoft is not very friendly with Apple. At the same time, an incredible level of synchronization between wireless devices was shown. Such that the musicians caught the smallest nuances of the movements of the conductor's fingers.

This may mean several things: the "soft-bones" were made up with "Apple", the technology of Skype has certainly reached a new level. All of these components were united under the umbrella of art, making it a very unusual piece of music, but irrevocably masterful and avant-garde!

The Director Chris Shimojima and his team searched New York City for a variety of subway musicians to unite for a live experiment.

There we stationed at 9 different subway stops with free Wi-Fi access and had them simultaneously connect to composer Ljova, who led them in a performance of "Signal Strength", an original piece he wrote for them. Luckily, there are enough talented street musicians in New York.

Composer Ljova has bypassed a lot of street performers with the proposal to take part in the experiment: simultaneously perform the music through WiFi. 11 of the selected talents were located at different metro stations. After street musicians took their positions, the maestro signaled to begin. The orchestra, together with the conductor Ljova who ran the orchestra via Wi-Fi, played a musical piece. Each of the musicians had an iPhone next to the instrument, and the conductor controlled the remote orchestra with the help of 11 "MacBooks" arranged in the park.

The outcome was incredible! An unexpected concert fascinated and amazed passers-by, the debut of the first WiFi orchestra. Watch the video at the top of the page.

What do you think about this video? Make sure you tell us more in the comments down below. If you like what you see, don’t forget to share it with others who might like it as well. It just might be the highlight of their day! Enjoy!

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