While people all over town were creating all manner of music as part of International Make Music Day on June 21, a group of adults and kids gathered into one side of the fourth floor in the Chattanooga Public Library downtown to learn to play the harmonica from an instructor who was in Burlington, Vt.
“Puff, puff, blow, blow,” [Mark] LaVoie [a music instructor in Burlington] instructs and the Chattanooga group — mostly young kids — puff, puff, blow, blow into their new instruments. It’s not about the quality of the song being made. This is about the technology that allows LaVoie to communicate in real time with a group of players 1,088 miles away, technology known as LoLa (Low Latency Audio visual streaming system).
“We want to finally put it out there,” says Mary Barnett, public relations coordinator at the library.
The technology is so new — with Chattanooga at the very forefront of it — even the people presenting it are not sure of its future uses. They just imagine it could be far-reaching.
To show off the city’s new gig capabilities, RiverRocks put together a closing day concert called Gig City Roots. While the Secret Sisters played live in Coolidge Park, Burnett joined them via a low latency hookup from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Innovation Lab.
Since then, however, the technology has improved quite a bit and gotten cheaper, [Ken] Hays, [president and CEO of the Enterprise Center] says.
“I think it was around $10,000 when we bought it, and it’s now around $2,000 to $2,400,” he says.
Direct to CPL’s LoLa Page
See Also: LoLa Test Videos (via CPL on Facebook)