Former Jazz Partners Use Disklavier to Reunite from Two Coasts

CalArts Piano Duet small 200x146Los Angeles, CA....AND New York, NY - Spring, 2011 - The two thousand miles separating them didn’t stop long time jazz partners David Rosenboom and JB Floyd from collaborating on a musical project. Instead, they used Yamaha technology as the driving force behind CalArts Bi-Coastal Jazz, a live transcontinental piano concert that linked Internet-connected Disklavier pianos, audiences and performers at The Wild Beast music pavilion at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in Valencia, California with the Yamaha Piano Salon in midtown Manhattan.

California Institute of the Arts and its Herb Alpert School of Music have a long history in the research and development of new art making practices, techniques and tools. In the early 1990s CalArts’ Center for Experiments in Art, Information and Technology (CEAIT), under the co-direction of Morton Subotnick and David Rosenboom, produced a series of groundbreaking, live events linking multiple sites around the world in demonstrations of new, interdisciplinary performance technologies, discussions among experts and remotely linked audiences, and TeleConcerts in which musicians in multiple sites interacted and performed together. Yamaha Corporation of America helped facilitate some of these efforts.
BiCoastal Closeup2 600x338On April 23, 2011, Yamaha stepped into the mix once again, providing Disklavier RemoteLive technology to connect Disklaviers across the miles. The work Is Art Is, which was one of three Rosenboom pieces commissioned by the National Endowment for the Arts in 1974 for the new music/multi-media/jazz improvisation group, Electric Stereopticon, provides only a structure for improvisation employing gradually evolving, cyclical patterns. It is characterized by complex rhythmic cycles in 12 beats, followed by 7 beats, followed by 12 beats. This piece was performed in one of CEAIT’s early TeleConcerts in 1994 with Yamaha Disklavier pianos linked via telephone lines between New York and Santa Monica, California. With modern Internet, the connection was quite a lot faster and provided near instant feedback to the artists on stage.

Another piece on the program, Crossings, featured CalArts’ extraordinarily vibrant Latin Jazz Band, directed by pianist-composer, David Roitstein, also Chairperson of CalArts’ Jazz Program, in an interdisciplinary collaboration with members of CalArts’ School of Theater, directed by Marissa Chibas. Such interdisciplinary collaborations are common in CalArts’ multi-arts culture. The music was combined with stirring stories about people who have crossed frontiers separating diverse nations and cultures. The performance originating in The Wild Beast was seen and heard in the Yamaha Artists Services Salon by means of Yamaha’s Remote Live technology. Data from a Yamaha Disklavier piano in The Wild Beast was merged with audio and video streams transmitted to New York via the Internet and reproduced on a Disklavier piano synchronized with projected video and audio.

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