Packet Loss was an experimental networked music project developed for the 2010 Sonorities Festival of Contemporary Music in collaboration with Pierre Proske. The performance involved a pianist in Melbourne Australia playing a piece. The notes he played were transmitted over the internet to the performance space in Belfast. These notes manipulated a physics simulation based on the real-time network conditions between the two sites. Once processed through the physics simulation, a portion of the notes played on a Disklavier in Belfast
Packet Loss: A solo-duet for Keyboard, Network, and Disklavier - Rob King, Pierre Proske In the current age, it is easy to take for granted the ease and speed with which we can communicate with others around the world. Where once one needed to expend significant amounts of time or energy to get a message around the world, now with digital networks such communication is instant and nearly effortless. Packet Loss attempts to rework the architecture of the network so that long-distance communication requires real physical effort. In this piece, a single network connection is constructed as a physically modeled virtual space, with each of the network hops between the two endpoints represented as membranes that must be penetrated to get from one end to the other. A piano played at one end creates data packets within the virtual space, which are propelled towards the remote end of the networked space based on the strength of the note played. Not all of the packets will make it through to the other end; we can only hear their attempts at passing through the network membranes echoing through space. When a packet does make it through, however, we can finally hear it as a real note played on the Disklavier. All the while, the network space becomes a graveyard of lost packets, and data that didn't make it.