Many of us have attempted to maintain relationships with loved ones across distance using technologies such as the telephone or video chat; we are able to experience a sense of their presence even though they may be thousands of kilometres away. Jason Robinson and others, such as Doug Van Nort and Sara Weaver, make use of this way of being together while apart to make a special kind of music, variously named telematics, distributed performance, networked performance, multi-site performance etc. One particular feature of this mode of connection (and, it turns out, of all of the ways we connect, even ‘in person’) is latency, the experience of delay created by the distance a signal must travel before it is returned to us. Finding out how latency is explored in telematic music gives us fresh and surprising insights into the nature of human perception and what it really means to be present.
This episode originally aired on CFRU 93.3FM in Guelph on July 18th, 2017 at 5pm. Sound It Out generally aires new episodes on a fortnightly basis, all of which can be listened to extemporaneously by subscribing to our podcast or visiting our wordpress or soundcloud page. It is produced by Rachel Elliott in conjunction with the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation.