13 - Music Archaeology on GÉANT

Domenico Vicinanza (DANTE)

he poster describes the reconstruction of two ancient musical instruments (quena de hueso and tambór) from Pre-Colombian Latin America through GÉANT and the ALICE2 transatlantic link. The quena de hueso (literelly bone flute) was a traditional flute of the Andes belonging to the Nasca culture (southern Peru). The tambór (drum) was a percussion belonging to the Gentilar culture (northern Chile) and it is more ancient that the quena, we can date it between 1200 and 1470 b.C.

The technique used to reconstruct the two instruments is called physical modelling synthesis and it has been extensively tested on GÉANT and EUMEDCONNECT2 network during the past years by the ASTRA project.

Data about the two instruments (mainly high quality pictures, technical notes, and technical diagrams) were sent through the ALICE2 transatlantic link between Europe and Latin America. Several GB of data were securely exchanged in almost real time by two teams of researchers in the two continents (historians and archaeologists in Latin America, archaeologists, musicians and engineers in Europe), enabling an effective collaboration at all levels.

To speed the procedure up and achieve the necessary processing power, the reconstruction algorithms were run simultaneously on hundreds of computers throughout Europe and the lower Mediterranean area using the GILDA and EUMEDGRID infrastructures, which link computing resources through the GÉANT and EUMEDCONNECT2 research networks, using EGI middleware.

Once the reconstruction phase was finished, the sounds were transferred back to Santiago in Chile, to be listened by the researchers and used by the musicians.

The two reconstructed instruments were used for the first time in public on May 14th 2010, during the official launch of ALICE2 (Latin America Interconnected with Europe, in Spanish) and the second generation of the RedCLARA network. At the end of the ceremony, hold together with the EU-LAC Ministerial Meeting, under the Spanish Presidency of the European Union in Madrid, the instruments played in a piece from the first musical work written in Latin America, "The Purple of the Rose”, an opera in one-act composed by Tomás de Torrejón y Velasco to a libretto by Pedro Calderon de la Barca (1701).

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