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Switzerland Connected

BLAY, Flavie Léa and Swisscom team up for Switzerland’s first decentralised live music experiment

At 6 pm on 13 January, Swisscom is hosting Switzerland Connected, the first decentralised live music experiment in Switzerland, featuring BLAY (Bligg and Marc Sway), Flavie Léa and a host of up-and-coming artists. Musicians from all over the country will be connected virtually over the Swisscom network to create a unique live music experience.
Annina Merk
Annina Merk, Media spokesperson
04 January 2021

On 13 January at 6 pm, BLAY (Bligg and Marc Sway), Flavie Léa and various other up-and-coming Swiss artists from Sing it Your Way will perform together from five separate locations. They will perform the new track Denkmal by BLAY for the first time – together but apart. From their respective bases in Bellinzona, Montreux, Klosters, Zurich, Bern and Volketswil, the musicians’ voices and instruments will come together over the Swisscom network to create a shared live experience.

 

“The big challenge is bringing everything together at the same time,” explained Bligg at today’s joint press conference. “If the artists in Ticino, for example, are just a beat faster than those in Zurich, you will be able to tell.” After a long hiatus from live performing, the artists are particularly looking forward to the live music experiment. Marc Sway said: “Bligg and I are very much live acts. We are really missing the whole live experience and the audience. The prospect of taking advantage of Swisscom’s technological capabilities to join other musicians and create a unique, live-like moment for everyone is very appealing to us.”

A shared experience despite the distance

Explaining the joint project, Dirk Wierzbitzki, member of the Swisscom Group Executive Board and Head of Residential Customers, said: “We are pushing the limits of Switzerland’s network and hope to leverage the opportunities of the networked world to bring our community a shared and enjoyable music experience.” The live music experiment represents a major challenge for Swisscom’s engineers and experts. For physical reasons, the network, transmission from the individual locations and signal processing have different response times – so everything needs to be perfectly orchestrated to bring the performance together. The experiment can only be considered a success if the viewers notice none of this.

 

Switzerland Connected aims to ascertain whether and to what extent the digital sphere can create genuine live experiences and shared moments despite physical distance and at the very limits of modern technology. Swisscom is committed to Swiss music: with Energy Air, Energy Star Night, support for up-and-coming talent on the crowdfunding platform wemakeit and, most recently, with the singing talent show Sing it Your Way on blue. “We would love to have more live music events and, above all, a genuine shared experience with other people. With Switzerland Connected, we are exploring what new digital formats will be possible in the longer term and whether we can bring together the best of both worlds in the future,” said Mr Wierzbitzki.

Switzerland Connected – BLAY to première Denkmal

The big moment will be streamed live on 13 January 2021 at 6 pm for the whole of Switzerland on the Swisscom network on www.swisscom.ch/switzerlandconnected as well as blue Zoom and YouTube. BLAY will be premièring their inaugural track Denkmal. The new Swiss music duo will be supported by up-and-coming talents Flavie Léa, Make Plain, Andryy, Vibez, Ben Pavlo, Joel Goldenberger and Miss Kryptonite. The event will be held under observance of all applicable coronavirus measures.


Post-concert panel discussion on 13 January 2021

Switzerland Connected also represents a commitment to look to the future with positivity and embrace new, innovative and digital formats, particularly in the midst of the crisis. It may even give rise to new business models for live events. Swisscom intends to address these questions in a panel discussion together with musicians, media psychologists and organisers following the concert on 13 January 2021.


Technical info

If you have ever noticed the slight delay when you listen to yourself on headphones, you will be familiar with the problem of latency. A delay like this can make conversation stilted but it makes music impossible. Delays are a natural consequence of transmitting and processing signals. With 5G, for example, these can be greatly minimised. However, you need to go even further for the perfect orchestration of image and sound, to ensure that everything comes together at the same time. The director in Volketswil will use Sonobus software to synchronise the audio signals from the different locations and then match the sound with a total of eight live camera images. The final TV signal takes no more than three seconds to produce. A project of this nature depends on an efficient and responsive network such as Swisscom’s network for Switzerland.

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