[Dixielandjazz] The Handwriting On The Wall

Steve barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Wed Dec 15 07:24:51 PST 2004

No need for us to get all worked up about OKOM Festivals, live music,
declining audiences etc. Soon, we will all (except for the keyboard artist)
be replaced by the Sinfonia which will enable a "keyboard techie" to
replicate any music, any artist, any sized band/orchestra you desire. No
doubt a holographic image maker will follow soon. And it will probably throw
beads, etc. :-) VBG

Steve Barbone

PS. Hope there's a version coming to replace the chick singers. :-) VBG

December 15, 2004 By DANIEL J. WAKIN - NY TIMES

Concert Canceled Over Use of Electronic Musicmaker

The Opera Company of Brooklyn was forced to cancel a benefit concert
yesterday that was to take place last night, after the New York musicians'
union threatened a protest against the use of an electronic musicmaker
called the Sinfonia.

The Sinfonia, a kind of computerized virtual orchestra that a keyboard
artist can adapt to live performance, has been a longstanding bone of
contention between music producers and the union, Local 802 of the American
Federation of Musicians. Its potential use was an issue during last year's
Broadway strike. 

The opera company considers the Sinfonia an instrument and said it is used
merely to enhance the musical accompaniment, with live musicians playing
along with it; the union said the machine would take jobs away from players
and debase the quality of live performance.

Local 802 promised to protest last night outside CAMI Hall, 165 West 57th
Street, which is owned and operated by Columbia Artists Management Inc., a
major representative of classical musicians. The union said the performance
was "showcasing and promoting" the Sinfonia, which was to accompany singers
in excerpts from Mozart's "Magic Flute."

Ronald Wilford, the chairman and chief executive of Columbia Artists and a
powerful figure in the classical music world, got in touch with the Opera
Company of Brooklyn hours before the event.

He said Columbia Artists had just learned that the Sinfonia was to be used
to "take the place" of live musicians, according to a lawyer for the opera
company, Edward Quigley. "You never informed us of your intention to use
CAMI Hall for such a purpose," Mr. Wilford said. "CAMI Hall is for the use
of musicians performing live music."

Since there was no contract with the Brooklyn company, Mr. Wilford said, the
hall's use was being withdrawn. Mr. Quigley disputed that, saying that there
was indeed a contract, and that the fee had been paid.

The Sinfonia is made by Realtime Music Solutions. Jay D. Meetze, the
company's founder and artistic director, said he would transfer the concert
to the Chelsea loft of Realtime's chief executive, Jeffrey T. Lazarus. "I'm
very frustrated right now," Mr. Meetze said. "I don't think it's fair."

The opera company and the union have been fighting over the Sinfonia's use
for more than a year. Despite an agreement in February not to use the
musicmaker, the company recently announced it was embracing the technology.

Realtime, which lets the opera company use a Sinfonia at no charge, has
other links to the company. Opera Company of Brooklyn will hold its
performances this summer at the New York City College of Technology, where
one of Sinfonia's inventors is a professor.

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