Songs across the world

No longer do you have to be in the same country, let alone the same room to enjoy a good old fashioned sing-a-long. CISCO Systems Video Conferencing Technology, initially designed to save on business travel costs, has united two singing groups, one in Melbourne and one in Amsterdam for a truly global sing-a-long.

The brainwave of CISCO systems’ Kevin Johnston, Sunday’s virtual link-up saw a choir from Almere, near Amsterdam and Melbourne’s Emmy Monash Aged Care choir share their own experiences through song. The Emmy choir has been singing together for two years and is led by Pamela Bruder. Members are regularly joined by the children of Wooranna Park Primary and sing the majority of their songs in Hebrew, with a little Yiddish thrown in. In contrast, the Dutch choir got together as a result of CISCO’s involvement and have their own unique way to get their point across. Sneaking a small keyboard into public libraries, they break into song and then promptly leave before they are ejected. This is their own form of political protest, engineered to highlight the plight of older people who are often forgotten in times of prosperity.

The joy at being able to spread the word through song was evident on the faces of all those who participated and, overseen by Kevin from the CISCO London office, this was truly a global affair.

Debbie McTaggart

How did the technology work?
Three large screen televisions were linked up to the one feed. A highly technical camera was positioned at the top of the middle screen with three separate cameras to span the room and attendees were seated in a semi-circle around the screen.
Cameras could pick up who was talking and zoomed in on that person. London only came on screen when they talked and for the rest of the time Melbourne saw Amsterdam and vice versa.

Melbourne sang four songs; two in Hebrew, one in Yiddish and Go Tell It on the Mountain. Amsterdam responded with a variety of songs – Big girls don’t cry, Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, Johnny B Good, Rock around the Clock, and Shake, Rattle and Roll.
At times a small delay (1-2 seconds max) was experienced.
The picture was exceptionally clear, as if you were watching television or talking in person.

Drew Patchell

More – CISCO links

Look at newsroom.cisco.com, and various links you’ll find at www.cisco.com/go/ageingwell (including the impressive Mayor of Almere, and Jane B, on video).

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