Google Glass continues to see musical ideas. Alexander Chen, whom we saw composing violin ensembles with Google’s wearable tech, now turns his attentions to literal glass – wine glasses.
In “Glass through Glass,” we hear a beautiful, ethereal ensemble of wine glasses resonating in harmony. Yes, you could do this with other devices, but glass does make the recording experience seamless, as would any wearable camera.
Cornell conductor and professor Cynthia Turner, too, is beginning with Google Glass primarily as a point-of-view camera. But she intends to go further, reported The Verge earlier this fall. She’s streaming the conductor’s perspective as she conducts, and experimenting with digitally-projected programs. And that could be just the beginning:
She paints an image of musicians all wearing Google’s headsets, no stands or scores cluttering their chamber, the composer’s point of view broadcast on a screen above them, and intermittent notes of text appearing on screen to explain to patrons what’s happening in a given musical movement.
A more-modest implementation of this, for now, shows what it looks like seeing through the conductor’s eyes, courtesy Google Glass. Then again, this may be the first-ever chamber music video that could actually make you motion sick:
How practical these ideas are, of course, is another matter. But they do at least begin to raise questions about how musical information is conveyed in live performance – questions that technology may pose with increasing urgency.