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So Far, Yet So Close!

Posted by on in The Disklavier Frontier
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Musicians in three locations – University of California (Davis, Calif.), SFJAZZ (San Francisco) and New World Symphony (Miami) – performed together simultaneously, in two time zones, in [YET ANOTHER] extraordinary live musical event, thanks to Yamaha Disklavier Remote Lesson technology.

This "co-located" performance on Tuesday featured renowned pianist and educator Geri Allen, who performed live in Davis; Chris Chafe of Stanford's Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA), who played cello from the New World Symphony in Miami, and the SFJAZZ High School All-Stars, who performed in San Francisco. incredible artistic experience! --Yamaha Artist Geri Allen, Director of Jazz Studies, Univ. of Pittsburgh
The presentation also highlighted the use of the CENIC network by SFJAZZ, and its potential for other cultural organizations to use the network.
Remote Lesson technology, developed by Yamaha, makes it possible to connect two, three, or even four Disklavier reproducing pianos via the Internet. When a teacher, performer, or student plays a Disklavier using this technology, each remotely connected Disklavier produces precisely the same key and pedal movements in real time.
Allen performed on a Yamaha Disklavier at UC Davis, and her performance was recreated on Internet-connected Disklavier pianos in San Francisco and in Miami. The artists in the remote locations played "live" with Ms. Allen, and audiences in Miami and Davis were able to experience her actual performance in other cities – live and in real time – watching on large-screen monitors behind the artists onstage.
"Performing live in California simultaneously with the distinguished Stanford faculty member Chris Chafe from the New World Symphony in Miami and the gifted students from the SFJAZZ Program in San Francisco is an incredible artistic experience," said Geri Allen, Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. "Not only does Remote Lesson technology represent an entirely new and liberating way to create equity and access to diverse audiences, it also brings musicians closer together over long distances into one collaborative musical space.
"Added Jim Levesque, Disklavier marketing manager, Yamaha Corporation of America: "By shattering geographical and logistical barriers between musicians, audiences and educators, Disklavier Remote Lesson continues to push the boundaries of musical expression. This technology has powerful implications for musical performance and pedagogy, by enabling musicians to perform, teach or collaborate from anywhere in the world."
Read the complete press release

Shana Kirk has been passionate about the combination of music, teaching, and technology since the early 1990s. As an undergrad at Lipscomb University, armed with a Yamaha PSR and a Mac Classic computer, she may have been the first freshman music theory student in history to turn in homework on floppy disk! As a graduate student at the University of Denver's Lamont School of Music, she learned how to avoid extra accompanying rehearsals with the magic of the Yamaha Disklavier. She has been teaching, performing, and helping others with music technology ever since.

In addition to an active teaching and performing career, Shana participates in extensive music outreach. During 2000, she helped develop and operate the "What Makes Music?" discovery center for the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. She also helped develop Yamaha's Say Yes to Music outreach initiative, performing exclusively on Yamaha Clavinova digital pianos in elementary schools across the US.

Currently, as a music education technology consultant, Shana works with industry leaders including Yamaha, TimeWarp Technologies, Keys to Imagination, and Piano Adventures, to guide music educators in 21st century teaching practices through workshops, webinars, and technical support.

Recognized as an expert in the technologies associated with independent music instruction, she has presented workshops and performances at events including MTNA National Conference, National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, College Music Society, Association for Technology in Music Instruction, World Piano Pedagogy Conference, The Royal Conservatory's Summer Summit, The Canadian Music Teachers' Association, and numerous regional and state events. As a writer, she frequently contributes music and music-technology based articles to such publications as Clavier Companion and American Music Teacher.

Here at DEN, Shana loves to discover all the new things that teachers and schools are doing with Disklavier, and is constantly experimenting at her home studio in Denver, CO.