UC Instructors Build Bridges Via Telematics

Excerpt from DownBeat.com
By Bobby Reed  

During the pandemic, educators have wrestled with a pragmatic and philosophical question: How can music students effectively play together when they cannot be together? During the past few months, as DownBeat has spoken with collegiate educators in formal interviews and in casual conversations, the names of two trailblazers have popped up repeatedly—and for good reason.

Trombonist Michael Dessen, who is on the faculty at the University of California at Irvine, and bassist Mark Dresser, a faculty member at the University of California at San Diego, have spent many years studying the intersection of music performance and internet technology.

They have performed many concerts that involve musicians who are in different locations, playing together through a network. In some cases, all the musicians are located in the same state. But they also have staged ambitious productions in which the participating musicians are located on different continents.

Dessen and Dresser frequently collaborate as educators. For example, they use videoconferencing so that students in a San Diego classroom can learn simultaneously with students in an Irvine classroom.

DownBeat spoke to Dessen and Dresser via videoconference to learn more about their craft. The educators began by explaining some of the basic terms related to their discipline.

Read the full feature at downbeat.com here.

Image: Michael Dessen (left), Steph Richards, Nicole Mitchell and Mark Dresser perform in San Diego at a 2018 telematic concert. Images of musicians collaborating with them in real time from New York City and Seoul, South Korea, are projected on video screens. (Photo: Felipe Rossid/courtesey of Downbeat.com)

Posted Date: 
Monday, November 2, 2020