NINA – The Montreux Jazz Festival



The wonderful Legacy of the Montreux Jazz Festival hits the road with “Nina”. This compact gateway to a vast universe is about to set off — “Nina”, the latest installation by the EPFL+ECAL Lab developed in cooperation with the space conception laboratory ALICE, brings the iconic concerts of the Montreux Jazz Festival back to life. Beyond mere transcribed memories or digitized recordings, “Nina” offers a truly immersive and social experience which will be brought to the general public during the 52nd edition of the Festival.

In recent decades millions of hours of audiovisual content have been digitized like the archives of the Montreux Jazz Festival listed in the UNESCO “Memory of the World” Register. How can one truly bring this digitized heritage back to life?

Fifty years of concert recordings digitized under the leadership of the EPFL Metamedia Center have provided an ideal framework for experimentation. The research conducted by the EPFL+ECAL Lab in close cooperation with the space conception laboratory ALICE seeks to take our digital heritage to a new level. The findings will be presented at the Siggraph 2018 world conference in Vancouver in August and published in the scientific journal Leonardo/MIT Press.

During six years of research, designers, architects and engineers joined forces to create an unprecedented experience, opening up a new relationship with the recordings, the music, the artists and their stage performances. The design explores the feeling of immersion, the perception of sound and the physical dimension of the experience in order to also foster social interaction in real life.

“Nina” crowns the experimental installations developed to date. It complements in particular the immersive area open to the public in the EPFL Montreux Jazz Café. It follows the initial requirements, including reviving original recordings despite the radical evolution in their formats, resolutions and recording technologies, with the aim of heightening the material’s perception by enriching it with additional data and testimonials.

Nomadic and compact, the audiovisual set-up “Nina” takes the audience to the heart of the world’s largest archive of live recordings of blues, jazz and rock music. It comes with a virtual reality installation bearing witness to the history of the Festival which echoes the adventure of the music itself — from Deep Purple who wrote ”Smoke on the Water” as the concert hall burned down on Lake Geneva, along with contributions by artists like Max Bill, Keith Haring or Jean Tinguely, here are the places which have woven unique connections between world-famous musicians. “Nina” is opening new horizons for this musical and cultural legacy, taking it to new audiences to demonstrate how digitized archives may come back to life, offering a new perception of a heritage and bringing innovative experiences to a wide range of people throughout the world.

“Nina” was unveiled to the public during the 2018 edition of the Montreux Jazz Festival.





EPFL+ECAL Lab : Nicolas Henchoz, Project Curator Cédric Duchêne, Project Manager, Senior Engineer Tommaso Colombo, Senior Interaction Designer Allison Crank, Interaction Designer Delphine Ribes, Senior Computer Scientist Yves Kalberer, Software Engineer Béatrice Durandard, Product Designer, Scenographer

ALICE EPFL : Pr Dieter Dietz, Architecture Curator Ruben Valdez Juarez, Senior Research Architect Rudi Nieveen, Senior Research Architect Manon Fantini, Architect Tobias Cebulla, Architect Quentin Andreotti, Architect

METAMEDIA CENTER : Alain Dufaux, Operations and Development Manager Igor Ristic, IT Manager, Project Coordinator, Digitization Olivier Bruchez, Senior Developer, Database Gregory Marti, Senior Developer, Media File Manager Sarah Artacho, Documentalist, song indexing Caryl Jones, Technology Watcher, Quality Control Julien A. Raemy, Archivist, Picture Digitization & Anecdote Creation Céline Racine, Archivist, Picture Digitization & Tagging

PARTNERS : Montreux Jazz Festival, Fondation Claude, Nobs Audemars Piguet

SUPPLIERS : La Porch Sàrl, Illusonic GmbH, Anthony Gallo Acoustics Ltdh

VIDEO : © Geoffroy Dubreuil / EPFL+ECAL Lab

PHOTOGRAPHS : © Daniela Tonatiuh / EPFL+ECAL Lab