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Musicians tune in from all around the world for Armistice

Technology allows musicians stationed in different countries to play in harmony.

Musicians based around the world will play in harmony to commemorate Armistice Day - thanks to a pioneering project developed in Scotland.

The armistice was signed in 1918 and 100 years later musicians have created a new form of remembrance for those who fell in the First World War.

Play 4 Peace which will see instrumentalists from around the world join together to play new music dedicated to the occasion.

The project is the brainchild of Aberdeen University lecturer Neil McLennan and Scottish fiddler Thoren Ferguson and uses online technology from Edinburgh Napier University.

The idea for Play for Peace began after Mr McLennan was concerned that the First World War would diminish in public consciousness after the centenary year had passed.

He said: "I asked myself whether a two-minute silence was enough and whether we needed to look at further ways to remember which can last for another 100 years.

"I thought that as a mark of how civilisation has progressed and become more unified musicians could play in harmony around the world."

The idea struck a chord with musician Mr Ferguson, who created a new piece of music that encompasses the Armistice and reflects on peace and conflict around the world.

However, in order for the idea to work, there needed to be a way for instrumentalists to play together across the world.

So the pair turned to Napier University and Professor Paul Ferguson for help.

Prof Ferguson has led a team which has developed 'LOLA LOw LAtency' audio and video streaming - which enables online interaction to happen in real time, without the time delay associated with most other systems.

The technology will be trialled with musicians in three different locations this year with a larger collaboration planned for 2019.

In addition to a performance which took place in Aberdeen on Friday, musicians from all over the world will strike up to Play for Peace at 3pm on Remembrance Sunday.

Mr McLennan said: "Play for Peace grew organically but I have been quite overwhelmed by the support for the concept."

'12 months ago I wouldn't have believed it if you said we'd have musicians from Australia, South Africa and France signed up. In Milan it will even be incorporated into the performance of an opera.'
Neil McLennan, Creator

On November 11, 1918, the armistice was signed between the allies and Germany to end the First World War.

To commemorate the moment, Armistice Day takes place on November 11 every year.

The signing took effect at 11am - the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" of 1918.

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