A Chamber Music Exploratorium
earsense is a web-based chamber music exploratorium built on a comprehensive database of composers, works and related multi-media resources including audio, video, program notes, scores, wikipedia pages and other links. Presenters, performers and works are joined in a smart calendar of upcoming and past, archived events that capture the living performance history of chamber music. Everything is integrated and accessible through a sophisticated search interface as well a variety of featured links and relationships for spontaneous, exploratory browsing. Using the latest media of our time, earsense gives chamber music a first-class presence on the web with endless possibilities for expansion and enrichment.
With a specific, deep focus on chamber music, chamberbase avoids the typical web site problem of being overly general, superficial and sparse. The world of chamber music is sufficiently vast in itself; it deserves a dedicated resource that is deep as well as broad, focused rather than incomplete, poorly integrated and “noisy” and distracted.
The ubiquity and flexible accessibility of the web enables users to connect to earsense from a school, a library, an internet café, a home computer or a cell phone around the world, anytime, for free. For education, research or pure musical pleasure, earsense makes chamber music available in a supremely “democratic” way to anyone who has the desire to explore, research, discover and listen.
The centerpiece of earsense is the earpage, a web page representing a single chamber music work. The earpage is a central reference for a specific work including all the information and media necessary to give that work a rich and respectful context. It provides essential reference data including composer, title, dates, ensemble, movements, duration, dedication, etc. as well as a dynamic set of relevant multi-media resources including program notes, audio and video, recordings, scores, wikipedia pages etc. Each earpage features a context-sensitive glossary of relevant musical terms and musical instrument profiles. Upcoming features will add a set of related earsense links such as other works by the composer, the composer’s contemporaries, countrymen, teachers, students, etc. The earpage provides actions for printing, formatting, copying, commenting, sharing and embedding. Ultimately, an earpage is a reference, a lesson, a virtual chamber music concert, a master class and a page within a living historical archive.
earsense is useful for just about every member of the chamber music field, several of which are detailed below.
Composers & Publishers
earsense is designed to list composers, their chamber music works, images, dates and links to official web sites including publishers for obtaining scores. Composers can ensure their works will be included in chamberbase queries, features and a network of associations and relationships.
Performers & Managers
Performers can use earsense to discover new repertoire (with queries by ensemble, instrumentation, ratings etc.), to showcase a performance audio or video, to publish and maintain concert calendar events and provide a calling card with images, web site links etc. Upcoming features will enable performers and managers to list their repertoire and schedule to negotiate bookings with presenters.
Chamber music presenters and producers can publish and maintain calendar events linking performers and works to venues, dates and series including information about premiers, pre-concert talks and links to external web sites. chamberbase provides supporting information such as program listings with accurate technical information, program notes and pointers for additional research. Upcoming features will enable presenters to list their season, venues and schedule to negotiate bookings with managers and performers.
Students, Teachers, Writers & Speakers
earsense offers a comprehensive model of the chamber music repertoire including composers, works and sophisticated queries to relate them by date, period, nationality, tags or associations and other interesting relationships. Each earpage gathers pointers to additional resources for study. Audio and video resources enable a student to experience multiple interpretations, diverse technique, etc.
Music Lovers, Enthusiasts and Explorers
earsense was designed and implemented by and ultimately for the chamber music lover. Listening to works, discovering new composers, reading program notes and learning about the technical, historical and aesthetic context of the music is the essence of earsense. The home page offers daily features to “bubble-up” new material for discovery or repeated exploration. Upcoming enhancements will enable users to create “studylists” track concerts, and receive regular customized emails to maintain a “discipline” or a continuity of on-going musical experience.
Embedding Content—The Data Server
earsense is also a “data server” providing content for other sites. Members can “embed” data in their own web sites including composer and work information with dates, movement listings, audio, visual and other related media.
Inspirations, Case studies and "Mash-ups"
earsense benefits from a close study of a variety of technologies including Google, Amazon, Wikipedia, YouTube, Grove Music online, iTunes, the gracenote CDDB, IMSLP, and others. Their virtues and shortcomings have inspired the design and features of chamberbase. Ultimately, earsense is a blend, literally gathering resources from several of these technologies in vast collaborative “mash-up” integrating disparate media into a central, curated source. chamberbase is a chamber music portal.
The vast amount of information comprising earsense ultimately needs a community for its care. Upcoming features will enable users to add, edit and comment on earsense information much like the model provided by wikipedia and other collaborative sites. Users can add composers, works, tags, ratings and comments as well as provide links to multi-media resources such as external sites, audio and video, scores, program notes etc. Over time, a community will ensure that earsense pursues its ever-elusive goals of being comprehensive, reliable, rich, relevant and useful, a dynamic resource for the chamber music community.
chamberbase and You
Join the earsense mailing list to keep informed of developments. Find out how you can take advantage of chamberbase. Have ideas, feedback, feature requests or the urge to collaborate? Contact earsense.
About Kai Christiansen, Founder
Kai Christiansen is a musicologist, multi-instrumentalist, radio host, writer, lecturer and general chamber music fanatic. Kai has been a professional software engineer for over 25 years working as a web developer, programmer, teacher and writer for some of the most progressive companies including NeXT and Apple. earsense and chamberbase represent the fusion of two worlds—musicology and web technology—that combine to create a unique educational, reference, artistic and experiential resource. earsense is a music appreciation portal first launched in 1997. It continues to occupy the majority of Kai's technical and creative endeavors like tending a garden each day until it bears fruit and flowers, becoming a giant forest. Mr. Christiansen will no doubt spend the rest of his life gardening.