NYU Steinhardt Distributed Performance Virtually Connects Musicians and Dancers from New York, Argentina, and Norway.

NYU Steinhardt’s Program in Music Technology will present Ozark Henry on the Holodeck: Maps to the Stars on Oct. 18, a concert featuring immersive sound technologies; musicians in New York, Argentina, and Norway performing together in virtual spaces; and motion captured avatars interacting with live dancers (free and open to the public). The concert is made possible through the NYU Holodeck, a supercomputing instrument exploring the potential of virtual environments for research and creative applications.

The concert will feature international gold and platinum Sony Music recording artist Ozark Henry—whose debut album was praised by David Bowie as one of his favorites—performing in New York with remote, live-streamed musicians in Argentina and Norway. The Belgian musician has produced music ranging from avant-garde electronica to pop.

The concert will also connect virtual and live singers from NYU Steinhardt’s Vocal Performance Chorale and will present dancers performing in tandem with avatars; the avatars will reflect the live movements of dancers wearing motion-capture suits in NYU’s Future Reality Lab.

While technology allowing remote musicians to perform together has existed for years, the Holodeck creates an immersive, realistic experience for the audience, through ensuring sounds interact convincingly within their mixed-reality environment. One of the goals for the Holodeck is for musicians performing remotely to feel as though they’re truly in the same space; real sound is indistinguishable from virtual sound.

The concert forms part of an ongoing exploration into the creative application of the NYU Holodeck and builds upon NYU's more than twenty years of work in distributed performance. The concert is facilitated by collaborations with THX and Qualcomm demonstrating the latest in immersive sound technologies such as Ambisonics, live MPEG-H broadcast, multi-channel immersive sound, and visual systems. Experiments with new standards for spatial audio streaming will use an off-the-shelf Ateme real-time encoder to stream MPEG-H audio and render THX Spatial audio over loudspeakers in a 5.1.4 configuration.

Ozark Henry on the Holodeck: Maps to the Stars is part of the 145th Audio Engineering Society International Convention in New York and takes place Thursday, October 18 at 6 p.m. at the Frederick Loewe Theatre, 35 West 4th Street (free and open to the public). Reporters wishing to attend this event should contact Sarah Binney at sarah.binney@nyu.edu or 212.998.6829.

About the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development (@nyusteinhardt)
Located in the heart of Greenwich Village, NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development prepares students for careers in the arts, education, health, media, and psychology. Since its founding in 1890, the Steinhardt School's mission has been to expand human capacity through public service, global collaboration, research, scholarship, and practice. To learn more about NYU Steinhardt, visit steinhardt.nyu.edu.