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Distinguished lecture: Steve Benford

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Jan 18

Date and time: Jan 18, 4pm – 5 pm
Speaker: Steve Benford
Title: Singing in Chorus – The Challenges and Opportunities of Making Music Together Online During the Global Pandemic

Location: Zoom
Meeting ID: 656 9476 6164
Password: DFDLS

Watch the recorded presentation:


Picture of Steve BenfordAbstract: The global pandemic has driven musicians online. I will describe how a local community of musicians who play traditional music together took their practices online over a period of twelve months, innovating two versions of a weekly folk club and contributing to an online music festival. Having escaped the constraints of COVID, they encountered an arguably even more fundamental barrier to their practice, that of network latency and bandwidth, so that they remained unable to sing and play together in chorus. By reflecting on their successes, innovations and problems, I will draw out implications for how we might design future platforms to better support online musical practice and revisit the concepts of liveness and appropriation.

Bio: Steve Benford is the Dunford Professor of Computer Science at the University of Nottingham where he founded the Mixed Reality laboratory in 2000 and has directed the Horizon Centre or Doctoral Training since 2009. His research explores how digital technologies, and foundational concepts and methods to underpin these, can support cultural and creative experiences. He previously held an EPSRC Dream Fellowship, was a Visiting Professor at the BBC and also a Visiting Researcher at Microsoft. He was elected to the CHI Academy in 2012. His collaborations with artists have also led to the award of the Prix Arts Electronica Golden Nica for Interactive Art, Mindtrek Award and four BAFTA nominations. He is a keen amateur musician.