The International Contemporary Ensemble has been selected as the inaugural ensemble-in-residence by the Nokia Bell Labs Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.) program. The ensemble’s first performance as ensemble-in-residence took place on May 19 in Manhattan’s Times Square pedestrian plaza, a free program that featured Fields by Icelandic composer and frequent ICE collaborator Anna Thorvaldsdottir. The music was augmented by technology developed by E.A.T., transforming audience cell phones into speakers. In addition to performances and new commissions, ICE will also work with Nokia Bell Labs engineers and staff to explore new hardware and software interfaces that enhance listening experiences. The culmination of this research aims to advance interactive headphone listening via the “Digital Illuminated Manuscripts” project. A “Digital Illuminated Manuscript” is an interactive media portal which allows a listener to explore a work more deeply by taking a virtual seat next to a cellist or pianist. A press release states that the goals of the partnership are “to celebrate recent and historical artistic relationships with Nokia Bell Labs, to foster new artistic collaborations dedicated to understanding the unique capacity of music as a language, and enhance the audience experience by way of immersive, interactive modes of listening.”

Posted May 22, 2019