Spir­i­tus Telecom­mu­ni­tas

Federico Reuben, Aleks Kolkowski (Performer), Jon Har­g­reaves (Performer)

Research output: Non-textual formComposition


Spir­i­tus Telecom­mu­ni­tas, with Aleks Kolkowski. For Online Orches­tra (female choir, string orches­tra, brass ensem­ble and flute ensem­ble in dif­fer­ent loca­tions) telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion & sound devices, and elec­tron­ics. Online Orches­tra Research Project (AHRC funded). World pre­miere by Aleks Kolkowski and the Online Orches­tra con­ducted by Jon Har­g­reaves, Truro Cathe­dral, Mul­lion and Isles of Scilly, Corn­wall, UK.
Original languageEnglish
Media of outputScore
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventOnline Orchestra: Connecting remote communities through music - Truro Cathedral, Truro, United Kingdom
Duration: 12 Jul 201512 Jul 2015

Bibliographical note

Programme Notes:

Federico Reuben – composition, electronics and programing
Aleks Kolkowski – sound devices, materials and improvisations
Jon Hargreaves – conductor

The Online Orchestra examines the idea of telematic music – live music making through telecommunications, with musicians distributed in different locations. The intersection between music and telecommunications is not new, however – there is a long history of innovation in this area that is also tied to developments in sound recording and electronic music.

Elisha Gray’s Musical Telegraph (1876) is one of the first electronic music instruments that produced sound through simple steel reed oscillators transmitted through a telephone line. Developments in telephony by Alexander Graham Bell, Elisha Gray, and Thomas Edison are also tied to innovations in capturing and reproducing sound. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, before the invention of radio, several telephonic distribution systems had already emerged – services like the Théâtrophone in Paris (1890-1932) allowed subscribers to listen to live performances of opera and theatre over telephone lines. Thaddeus Cahill’s Telharmonium (1897), the first big scale electronic synthesiser, was also transmitted live through telephone lines – its demise came after its telephone broadcasts interfered with ordinary telephone users. In 1906, Reginald Fessenden successfully broadcasted the first wireless radio transmission and radio programme, which included Handel’s “Largo” played through an Edison phonograph, and “O, Holy Night” played by the inventor himself on the violin.

All of these key inventions shaped the way in which we produce, transmit and listen to sound today and contributed to technological developments that we now take for granted. From the earliest telegraph transmissions to the high-speed distributed information systems of the Internet, Spiritus Telecommunitas celebrates the spirit of community as expressed through the relationship between music and telecommunications.

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