Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) is promoted by UNESCO as a counterpart to World Heritage. It focuses on intangible aspects of culture. ICH is not about architecture, monuments or collections of objects. It concerns music, dance, singing, theatre, human skills and craftsmanship; manifestations of human intelligence and creativeness. Ambitious projects are serving the ICH cause and Acapela Group is proud to be part of one of them, i-Treasures.
i-Treasures aims to help in education and knowledge transfer by developing a methodology for the creation of information that has never been analyzed or studied before. Based on multisensory technology, it will include voice and song to develop a Singing Voice Synthesis system capable of singing any written text. First recordings of Sardinian singers were recently supervised by Acapela experts to serve this ambitious and exciting ICH project. Several days of recordings were run on site to capture the essence of Sardinian song and will be used to develop the Singing Voice Synthesis system.
How can we capture this Intangible part of culture, essential to all of us?
The main objective of i-Treasures is to develop an open and extendable platform to provide access to ICH resources, enable knowledge exchange between researchers and contribute to the transmission of rare know-how from Living Human Treasures (skilled practitioners of ICH) to apprentices. To this end, the project aims to go beyond the mere digitization of cultural content. Its main contribution is the creation of new knowledge by proposing novel methodologies and new technological paradigms for the modeling and analysis of ICH.
High-level semantics will be extracted enabling researchers to identify possible implicit or hidden correlations between different ICH expressions or different interpretation styles of the same ICH and study the evolution of a specific ICH through its transmission from generation to generation or to other communities. Combining conventional learning procedures and advanced services, such as Singing Voice Synthesis and sensorimotor learning through an interactive 3D environment, i-Treasure is expected to break new ground in education and knowledge transfer of ICH.
In this project, Acapela Group will be focusing on a singing TTS system, particularly on the development of a system able to sing. Text-to-Sing will allow any users to type in words and hear them sung back. Some systems already exist but they are not able to treat cultural heritage songs as in the i-Treasures project.
‘The i-Treasures project is perfectly in line with our vision of strategic trends for speech synthesis over the coming years. At Acapela, we are fully dedicated to speech solutions and we aim to create voices that add emotion and authentic layers to provide a personal experience to users. We aim to create voices that convey intent, restitute specificities and accurately take into account each context. We are fully familiar and comfortable with the ICH approach and look forward to upcoming developments’ comments Lars-Erik Larsson, CEO of Acapela Group.
First recordings of Sardinian singers were made in June and will be followed by recordings of Greek and Corsican singers.
Project roadmap: February 2013 > 2017
- Centre for Research and Technology Hellas http://www.certh.gr
- Université Pierre et Marie Curie http://www.upmc.fr
- Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique http://www.cnrs.fr
- Université de Mons http://www.umons.ac.be
- Consiglio Nazionale delle Richerche http://www.cnr.it
- University College London http://www.ucl.ac.uk
- Turk Telekom Company http://www.turktelekom.com.tr
- University System of Maryland http://www.usmd.edu
- Aristotle University of Thessaloniki http://www.auth.gr
- Acapela Group http://www.acapela-group.com
- University of Macedonia http://www.uom.gr
More about the project: http://www.i-treasures.eu/