Hebrides Ensemble runs a Digital Masterclass using LoLa system

This post comes from Creative Carbon Scotland

CCS Carbon Reduction Project Manager Fiona MacLennan recently attended a demonstration at Napier University’s Creative Industries department of an exciting new development in communications technology.

Hebrides Ensemble recently launched their Digital Programme with a digital masterclass using LOLA: LOw LAtency audio visual streaming system. Those of us who were lucky enough to attend witnessed the Composer James MacMillan and Hebrides Ensemble running a masterclass from Edinburgh on MacMillan’s Horn Quintet, with horn players located in London and Trieste.

Hebrides Ensemble’s quintet of performers, together with the composer himself assembled in a rehearsal room on the Napier Campus in Edinburgh and were able to rehearse with two young musicians, one based in the Royal College of Music in London and another in the Conservatorio di Musica Giuseppe Tartini located in Trieste. More information on this project can be found here .

For those of us watching, the musicians and the students were able to play together and interact and respond to visual and auditory cues which made the Masterclass impressively effective.

The online communication system which has been dubbed LoLa – in recognition of the extremely low latency, or delay, introduced into the signal during transmission can now operate with a delay that is so short that it is possible for musicians to play together in locations which are several thousands of miles apart.

The project was originally developed by the LoLa project team in the Conservatorio di Musica Giuseppe Tartini in collaboration with GARR, the Italian Research and Academic Network and they are actively promoting the use of the system worldwide.

Dr Paul Ferguson of the Creative Industries Department at Napier University has been working with the group in Trieste to replicate the system in the UK and has previously successfully demonstrated its use for a concurrent rehearsal involving musicians based in Edinburgh and London: see details here.

This latest demonstration has shown that the system can be just as effective over much larger distances. As part of a longer term research project, Hebrides Ensemble’s Digital Producer Gill Davies is working with Dr Ferguson and the team at Napier to allow professional musicians to connect to other musicians across Europe.

Although in its early stages the system is seen as having significant potential for helping artists based in locations which are remote from each to work together with high quality visual and audio communication. The team at Napier are interested in hearing from any members of the Arts Community in Scotland who would like to explore the use of the system for their own practice. To find out more click here or contact Fiona Maclennan if you would like to discuss the project further.

Hebrides Ensemble will be speaking about their LoLa system at our 50 Shades of Green: Stories of Sustainability in the Arts Sector conference on 6 October 2015. Get your ticket now!


The post Hebrides Ensemble runs a Digital Masterclass using LoLa system appeared first on Creative Carbon Scotland.


Creative Carbon Scotland is a partnership of arts organisations working to put culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland. We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

In 2011 we worked with partners Festivals Edinburgh, the Federation of Scottish Threatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network to support over thirty arts organisations to operate more sustainably.

We are now building on these achievements and working with over 70 cultural organisations across Scotland in various key areas including carbon management, behavioural change and advocacy for sustainable practice in the arts.

Our work with cultural organisations is the first step towards a wider change. Cultural organisations can influence public behaviour and attitudes about climate change through:

Changing their own behaviour;
Communicating with their audiences;
Engaging the public’s emotions, values and ideas.

Go to Creative Carbon Scotland

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