Post COVID-19 remote recording project scores funding support

Monash University

Academics from Monash University’s music school have turned COVID-19 physical restrictions into the impetus for a new trans-national remote recording project.

Three researchers from the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music have received more than $18,300 from the Australia Council for the Arts to record 18 new music compositions using an innovative software-based tracking approach.

Monash representatives will join colleagues in Perth in the new music ensemble Decibel, for multi-track recording sessions coordinated in real-time across the internet.

In addition to developing new methods of remote ensemble recording, the recordings will be published on local and international labels, reaching new national and international audiences at a time when live performance is not possible and unlikely in the short term.

The three Monash academics, project lead Professor Cat Hope, Aaron Wyatt and Dr Louise Devenish, will record the Australian compositions in Monash’s state-of-the-art Digital Hub.

Launched this year, the Hub allows audio-visual streamings from locations across the world, globalising students’ learning experience and enabling both staff and students to participate in the exchange of knowledge and creativity.

The ability for musicians to see as well as listen to each other when playing in different locations is key to the success of remote collaboration.

Professor Hope is the artistic director of Decibel, as well as the flute player in the ensemble while Mr Wyatt is developing new software to facilitate the project, as well as performing on viola, and Dr Devenish performs on percussion.

Four separate releases will be generated: a CD for Australian label Tall Poppies, a CD for Swiss label Ezzthetics, and two new online releases.

“Our enthusiasm for teamwork drove unprecedented improvement in online collaboration technologies during the pandemic lockdowns. This project will demonstrate how music technology research can enable new ways of making music together across long distances,” said Professor Hope.

“After a difficult year for musicians, this grant will see 18 Australian composers have their music recorded and distributed worldwide. It will show how we can leverage Monash’s facilities and the intellectual capacity of the university sector to support the independent arts sector.”

/Public Release.