Music Madness

Welcome to Music Madness, my new adventure into the use of Artificial Intelligence to compose music. This is a new and expanding field, as machine intelligence enters more into the public's awareness. Each musical escapade here is accompanied by one of my digital images. They are shown chronologically, beginning with the earliest. Note: some of this material has been licensed under the Creative Commons License and may have been altered and remixed.

I have just discovered another form of musical communication that I want to share with you. Called sfyria, it is practiced on a remote island in Greece, where only 6 people remain alive who can use it. Sfyria is a form of whistling - entire conversations can be shared using it. There is conjecture that it originated roughly 2500 years ago when Persian soldiers escaped to the mountains of Greece. The whistled sounds waves can travel ten times farther, for example, than shouting.

As I continue my search for an A.I. algorithm not based on Western music, I want to introduce you to an intriguing form of singing called Throat Singing. I first learned about it from a brilliant IBM engineer emeritus, R.M., who sang the amazing example that you hear here. It appears that Throat Singing is one of the earliest musical sounds made by humans. It is heard primarily in Mongolia, although areas of Northern Canada and South Africa produce it as well. Throat Singing involves specialized techniques that output unique sounds by using two or more notes at the same time. You can explore more of the genre at a site called Folkways.

As an outsource of A. I. music, let's look at some neural networks which have been designed using polyphonic music as a model. At Magenta you can listen to music that sounds as though it is being played. Actually a machine is deciding which notes to use. The algorithm is based on 1400 performances by professional pianists. The site also discusses some of the characteristics that were incorporated into the choice of music.

Now back to the A.I. music that I have composed. This first A.I. composition is called Jelly Beans

Next comes Dancing on a Rainbow

Let's follow up with Waltzing Worms, an alternative rock composition.

Here's Gurgling Brook. Don't forget the wine and picnic basket.

A bit of electronic frolic designed to make you feel like a Bird on A Kangaroo.

Here's a kick-ass trip through the cosmos with Flying Comets.

Listen in to some eerie voices at the Squirrel Powwow.

Feel the water tumbling around you in Waterfall Rumble.

Deep sounds and clear thoughts fill your heart in this AI Wild and Wooly serenade.

Start your day with Caravelle, a charming Sunday morning reverie.

This next piece is different in two ways. First, I chose notes at random, literally, and then let the machine do what it would. There is enough pattern and rhythm, however, to make me question whether randomness is possible. Secondly, after I listened to it, there emerged a strong feeling of apprehension. I tried re-engineering it six different ways, and none of them matched the integrity of the original. So here is ChaoChao, a bittersweet rumination on a sunny day, while storm clouds and the sounds of marching boots grow ever louder. A country that arms for war looks for ways to make war, a war that none of us will survive.

Let's take a cool tone now, with Galloping Turnips. Cook up a bowl of blues, add a teaspoon of jazz, top it off with a smattering of country.

This one is called Ecstasy, and even A.I. seems to understand it. So far, this is the most popular of the tracks I've uploaded.

When worries lie heavy on your heart, listen to Ions Kissing Velvet, a meditative interlude that will let you taste infinity.

"Drumbeats and Candy Bars" brings a see-saw meditation, on the melody of being alive, tempered by the dark drumbeats of how we squander that gift.

"Frogs Wear Kilts" and hop around like crazy when they do!

For those of you who are interested in Artificial Intelligence, here is a fascinating article about its history. Note especially the conclusion on imperfection.

Here is another report, this one on AI and sculpture, called "How I Created the First Thinking Sculpture with IBM Watson". (Thanks to RM for this).

Here is a link to Elon Musk's new company called Neuralink, which aims to connect human brains with computer artificial intelligence without the use of external technology.

Another article on A.I. music has just come to my attention. It references the first musical composition written using a computer algorithm. It was called the Illiac Suite, composed in 1956.

c. Corinne Whitaker 2017

Be sure to email giraffe@giraffe.com with your comments about Music Madness.



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