Roger Mills – Tele-Improvisation: Intercultural Interaction in the Online Global Music Jam Session


Springer, ISBN-13: 978-3319710389, English, 214 pages, 2019, Switzerland

One of the most fascinating promises of the early networked media was the possibility for collective, simultaneous collaboration by users in geographically discrete spaces. Something that is assumed by digitally native who take networks and real-time video for granted was only made possible though years of experiments on different media. After a pioneering period with the use of analogue machines and slow connections, networked distant collective practices have produced unique works in literature (collective simultaneous distant writing) and particularly in music, with band members performing together from remote places (networked music performance). Mills, the renowned director of the Ethernet Orchestra ensemble, fills this book with the need to understand the potential and the limits of online jam session’s practices. After providing a background of historical cases, Mills explores the practice, protocols and culture of Network Music Performance (NMP), providing a qualitative analysis through cases and techniques of tele-improvisation, including the challenges of multiculturalism and non-western instruments and attitudes. Supported by theories about the perception of presence, and the meaning of listening, this is referential research, informing both ‘geographically dispersed’ compositions and live performances.