Before LoLa

What happened to music performances during the COVID pandemic? How were concerts held and how did artists perform, rehearse and collaborate during lockdown? Here’s an overview of the uptake of LoLa, Low Latency data transmission technology, in Azerbaijan and how it was deployed at the Baku Academy of Music (named after the Azerbaijani composer Uzeyir Hajibeyov). LoLa is an audiovisual broadcasting system which enables artists in geographically distant locations to work and perform together in real time.

On 30 April 2021, as part of its centenary celebrations, the Baku Academy of Music (BMA), jointly with the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory of St. Petersburg (Russia) and the Ministry of Science and  Education of the Republic of Azerbaijan, organised the first online concert performed by students of both conservatories. The event was held via Zoom and featured music by Azerbaijani and Russian composers.

LoLa technology

In April 2019, AzScienceNet, the national research and education network of Azerbaijan, with the collaboration of networking specialists from Estonia, carried out the first LoLa technology demonstration and trial at the BMA.

On 20 December 2019 LoLa was officially deployed at the BMA for its concert ‘Connecting Traditions’, which took place in Azerbaijan and Estonia and featured a world premiere of new music for traditional instruments from both countries. The event was the outcome of the collaboration between AzScienceNet and AzEduNet, the Azerbaijan Education Network, the Baku Academy of Music, EENet of HITSA, the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre (EAMT) and the Italian research and education network GARR.  LoLa was brought to Azerbaijan via the EU-funded EaPConnect project and MIRCO, one of the winning projects of Enlighten Your Research a programme designed to increase the use and awareness of e-infrastructure resources in various fields of research.

LoLa was deployed thanks to the availability of high-speed internet connectivity provided by GEANT through AzScienceNet. It enabled to showcase music in real time, connecting performers and musicians in different locations through online connectivity and advanced network services whilst removing travelling time and strengthening international cooperation between specialists.  This technology offers great opportunities to the musicians and the musical institutions from the countries participating in the EaPConnect project.

Yegana Akhundova, Vice-Rector for International Relations, Baku Academy of Music

Master class

On 17 February 2022, selected BMA students were able to attend a remote master class thanks to LoLa technology. The master class was organised with the support of the AzScienceNet NOC,  EENet of HITSA and the Estonian Education and Research Network.

“It is astounding how the music and education communities can apply this technology to the daily educational process with online master classes and seminars held by leading experts in their fields ”, commented BMA Vice-Rector for International Relations, Yegana Akhundova.

Role of AzScienceNet

The AzScienceNet NOC provided technical assistance and support to the online live concert and master class and it was also responsible for the deployment of the eduroam wi-fi service at BMA; there are currenty plans to install LoLa technology also at the Nakchivan Conservatory of Nakchivan State University (Azerbaijan).

AzScienceNet is playing an important role in the integration of science and education in Azerbaijan, where the majority of research institutions and universities are already users of AzScienceNet services. This collaboration will increase opportunities to strengthen and expand scientific research in the country.