Virtual Concerts to Become a Reality in a Future Not Too Far Away

Prague, 29 June 2015. Testing conditions for real-time long-distance cooperation among educational institutions in the area of music and cultural production as well as founding a technical infrastructure for this cooperation was the objective of a unique international project titled eMusic, successfully completed in recent days. The coordinator of the entire project was CESNET, the association of domestic public universities and the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.

Collective concerts of top musicians from all parts of the world without the need for lengthy and costly travel?  Joint performances of artists, one which is – at the same point of time – located in Barcelona, another one in London, another in Berlin and the last one for example in Prague?  This can be a reality today.  The need for remote cooperation emerged from the sector of educational institutions interested in using it for long-distance education or exams. In addition, remote cooperation enables performance of new experimental cultural performances. In cooperation with art school staff, requirements were tested within the eMusic project, as seen by the actual artists.

“A specific requirement for the transfer of audio and video in the area of music and cultural performances in general is the need for very low latency, even if locations separated by up to several thousands of kilometres are connected,” explains Dr. Ing. Sven Ubik from the CESNET association.  “Real-time synchronization requires overall audio latency values lower than 30ms. This is not a standard today, not even in the high-speed networks area,” adds Ubik.

Within eMusic there have been several experimental transfers of music and dance projects carried out, over distances of about 1000 km.  Under the Czech supervision experts have also been working on testing influence of the Bandwidth on Demand (BoD) service – a service enabling on-demand bandwidth allocation, provided by the European academic network, GÉANT. The actual transfer utilized the LoLa software, developed together by GARR and CONTS, and the Modular Video Transmission Platform technology (MVTP-4K) based on programmable hardware, developed by the CESNET association.

The eMusic project has been implemented within the open call of the pan-European GN3plus initiative, involving six partners: three national academic networks (CESNET in the Czech Republic, GARR in Italy, and JANET in Great Britain) and three fine-arts-oriented universities (the Faculty of Music and Dance of the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague – HAMU, Conservatorio di Musica Giuseppe Tartini in Terst – CONTS, and Napier University in  Edinburgh). Coordination of the entire project was put in the hands of Dr. Ing. Sven Ubik from the CESNET association.  Within its final evaluation the project received 13 of the 15 points possible, indicating high quality.

Photos of selected concerts carried out remotely within the eMusic project:

  • The left picture shows collective playing of the cello player Ivan Vokáč in the HAMU building in Prague and the pianist Hiromi Arai in CONTS in Terst, performed using the LoLa software.
  • The right picture captures collective playing of the violin player Matouš Pěruška in the SAGElab in Prague and the pianist Alison Rhind in the Royal College of Music (RCM) in London, utilizing the MVTP-4K device.

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The CESNET Association was founded by Czech universities and the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic in 1996. It is engaged in research and development in information and communication technologies and builds and develops the CESNET national e-infrastructure for research and education. With its research activities and accomplishments, CESNET represents the Czech Republic in international projects, most notably the pan-European GÉANT network building project and grid projects (, and participates actively in their implementation.

Last change: 29.6.2015