We’ve been busy at work since our Glass demonstration in Bailey Hall on Sept. 29th. In addition to Tyler successfully pushing a pdf to Glass, he and I spent a few hours in my office the other day and we were able to use some existing open source Android code from a metronome app called “Beat Keeper.” The transfer of it to Glass posed some problems (and I am learning that the majority of programming time is spent searching for error codes on the internet and finding solutions that other people have posted) mostly because Beat Keeper was designed for a smart phone. Think about the differences between a smart phone and Glass–smaller screen, landscape versus portrait orientation, lots of buttons to navigate versus no buttons to navigate, the sound, etc. However, with a few touch ups here and there, Tyler was able to at least embed the metronome and we were able to navigate through it and get it to work. Tyler will show you a screen shot of the work so far when he writes his blog. Now, we have to come up with a way to simplify it, a way for it to work through voice commands, and a way for it to easily shut on and off. But, it’s a big step forward and we are encouraged to keep going.
The other step forward has been in our thinking. Given the size of the Glass screen and how complicated (but not impossible) it is to manipulate pdfs on Glass, we are starting to re-think about how we want the score to look. I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of freedom within discipline and Glass’ limitations have spurned us to thinking differently about the notation of music. Here’s what I mean…by the time we conductors get to a performance, our scores are pretty much memorized. If not memorized, we know them VERY well. So, what if what was embedded on Glass wasn’t the full score (or even a condensed one), but something we are calling a “salient score.” Just those reminders that we need as a piece progresses…what instruments are playing at any given moment, important cues and dynamics, changes in tempo or time signature. We don’t even need the full time signature…just “4” or “1” or “quarter = eighth” etc. And because we know the score so well, we probably don’t need the melody or harmony…just the shape and harmonic changes. Perhaps, depending on the piece, a shape or directional line? Perhaps colors for dynamics? You get the idea. We are thinking of ideas now and welcome any that you may have as well.
In terms of live streaming a piece through Glass, you already know the big problem: latency. So, we have come up with a solution. Glass is great at taking pictures. It’s fast and the quality is terrific. What if Glass took a series of still images as the piece was progressing…say, one every 2-5 seconds or so. And those images were projected. We might try both…one piece live streamed with the lag and one using the still images. Stay tuned!
One of the things that has taken me by surprise is the amount of attention that Glass has received in the media. Last Friday, Tyler and I were invited to New York City for a media luncheon. Journalists from the LA Times, Wall Street Journal, The Verge (this one is a very big deal…I didn’t know that until after the conference), International Business Times, and other magazines and online journals from as far away as China and Spain attended. Tyler and I gave our talk and demonstrated our research so far and they asked very good questions. Two articles have already been published:
International Business Times:
These two journalists did a great job of summarizing our research so they are worth a read. Also, if you missed the You Tube video I posted of me wearing Glass during a new music concert, it is in the Verge article. Apparently there are more articles coming. Here are three things I’ve learned by this ‘media’ experience:
1. Do NOT read the comments sections of online articles. Ouch. Travis Cross reminded me of this when he sent me a clip of CJ Cregg ranting to Josh Lyman. (see FB post)
2. There are a lot of naysayers out there.
3. Be VERY careful what you say to journalists. It might be a trap. One of the journalists asked me what my “pie in the sky” vision for Glass was. I should have said, “I don’t know.”
4. Cornell has a big presence in the city…bigger than I thought.
Before our trip to NYC, I had a great visit from Demian Caponi from Google. He was on campus recruiting and stopped in to meet me. What an awesome guy. After we chatted for a while, I asked him what he did at Google besides recruiting and he told me that he taught a class on “Presenting with Charisma.” Really? Tell me about it! And everything that came out of his mouth was pretty much the same things we talk about in conducting class…presence, body awareness, leading with the heart, voice awareness, gesture, posture, stance, eye contact, tone, etc, etc. I invited him to come and talk to my class and he was great. Here’s a picture of he and I after class:
So, onward we go with our research and experiments. Thanks for tuning in.