i-Treasures (Intangible Treasures - Capturing the Intangible Cultural Heritage and Learning the Rare Know-How of Living Human Treasures FP7-ICT-2011-9-600676-i-Treasures) is an Integrated Project (IP) of the European Union's 7th Framework Programme 'ICT for Access to Cultural Resources'. The project started on February 1, 2013, and will last 48 months.

UMS 'n JIP are involved as external experts as contemporary music composers, programmers and performers as well as
part of a brain mapping research project. Their participation is related to the i-Treasures-contribution of Dr Leontios J. Hadjileontiadis (Aristotle University Thessaloniki, Dpt. of Electrical and Computer Engineering).

Cultural expression is not limited to architecture, monuments or collections of artifacts. It also includes fragile intangible live expressions, which involve knowledge and skills. Such expressions include music, dance, singing, theatre, human skills and craftsmanship. These manifestations of human intelligence and creativeness constitute our Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH). ICH is at the same time traditional, contemporary and living, because it does not only refer to inherited knowledge but also to the renewal of contemporary cultural expressions. It refers to the past, to the present, and, certainly to the future and is the mainspring of humanity's cultural diversity.

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 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 analysis and modeling of ICH. One of the main objectives of the proposal is the development of an appropriate methodology based on multisensory technology for the creation of information (intangible treasures) that has never been analyzed or studied before.

Within the i-Treasures project, the usability of the platform will be demonstrated in different case studies, among them Contemporary Music Composition.

NEED

ICH’s creations are transmitted orally or by gestures and are modified over a period of time through a process of collective recreation. To this end, there is always a risk that certain elements of ICH could die out or disappear if they are not treasured. The issue of the preservation of intangible cultural heritage came to light as the effects of globalization caused the diminishment of the unique culture of many communities. As the world becomes more interconnected, many different cultures come into contact and communities start losing important elements of their ICH, while the new generation finds it more and more difficult to maintain the connection with the cultural heritage treasured by their elders. This transmission of knowledge has both economical and social value since it goes further and far beyond cultural fragments and attitudes. This kind of culture is called Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH).

In recent years, ICH has received international recognition and its safeguarding has become one of the priorities of international cooperation thanks to UNESCO's leading role. The Convention of the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO (2003) sets the intangible cultural sources as a basic factor for the local cultural identity and constitutes an eternal guaranty for sustainable development. ICH is manifested inter alia in the following domains: (a) oral traditions and expressions, (b) performing arts, (c) social practices, rituals and festive events, (d) knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe, and (e) traditional handicrafts.

OBJECTIVES

The main objective of the i-Treasures project is to develop an open and extendable platform to provide access to intangible cultural heritage resources and at the same time to propose a novel strategic framework for the safeguarding and transmission of ICH. More specifically, the i-Treasuress project aims to:

- To identify rare know-how and user requirements

- To propose novel technologies for the safeguarding and transmission of ICH and the identification of hidden intangible treasures: Use of multisensory technology for the creation of cultural content that has never been analyzed before and NOT for digitization of existing cultural content

- To design and specify the system

- To develop, demonstrate and verify the i-Treasures platform: System development / Functional tests / Technical assessment and evaluation / Use cases in different ICH domains: a) Rare traditional songs b) Rare dance interactions c) Traditional craftsmanship d) Contemporary music composition

- Capture and analysis of Intangible Cultural Heritage : Capture and analysis of ICH using facial expression analysis (singing, music composition), body and gesture recognition (singing, dance, craftsmanship, music composition), vocal tract modeling (singing), sound processing (song, dance, music composition), electroencephalography (music composition)

- Semantic media interpretation : Multimodal analysis and data fusion to enhance semantic metadata extraction by exploiting information across different modalities / Semantic media interpretation by mapping a set of low-level multimedia features to high-level concepts

- To create new ways for cultural expressions connecting the past with the present and have relevance in the contemporary world : Development of intangible musical instrument for contemporary music composition

- To raise public awareness regarding the importance of safeguarding ICH: Organizing territorial schools and local development strategy

- To disseminate and exploit i-Treasures results at a global level

CONSORTIUM

       
Centre for Research and Technology Hellas / Information Technologies Institute (CERTH-ITI)
       
Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris (ENSMP) / Association pour la recherche et le développement des méthodes et processus industriels (ARMINES)
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH)
Centre for Museums, Heritage and Material Culture Studies at University College London (UCL)
ACAPELA
University of Macedonia (UOM)

Université Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC)
University of Maryland (USM) / Vocal Tract Visualization (VTV) Laboratory
University of Mons (UMONS)
Turk Telekomunikasyon A.S. (TT) / Middle East Technical University (METU) / Istanbul Technical University (ITU)
Sobee
     
      Istituto per le Tecnologie Didattiche (ITD) / Italian National Research Council (CNR)
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)
       
UMS ´N JIP/jh