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(Mark Mosher Music News) (Modulate This) A.I. Winter

Video of A.I. Winter Live Performance from Electro-Music NY 2014 Now Available

It’s been a while since I’ve done an update or a podcast or a live show.  I’ve been enjoying some travel, hanging with the family, riding bikes, hiking, walking, reading, and listening. I’ve also been spending time studio time to work on new ideas, making field recordings,  as well as running some events for the 480+ member strong Rocky Mountain Synthesizer Meetup.

In the meantime, I noticed that a live video has surfaced of my duo A.I. Winter with Michael O’Bannon. It’s the full video 27 minute of a live performance of “Instantiate” from Electro-Music NY 2014 festival on September 7th, 2014. A big thanks to Steve Mokris for recording and posting this!

“Instantiate” is an experimental ambient piece with four movements composed for two Octatracks.”

Watch The Full Performance Here

Note – I also did double-duty on visuals with live camera input. The concept is as the A.I. is watching us, and as it evolves things become more clear to it (and we know how that will end). Watch embedded video.

”From the barren nanoscapes inside our personal devices come furtive anthems hummed by those digital servants who will one day be our overlords…”.

Instantiate” is an en experimental ambient piece with four movements composed for two Octatracks.

Movement 1: Stasis – A still, slow moving “present time”. Drones and melodies with an occasional perturbation to foreshadow what is coming.

Movement 2: Stirrings – Bursts of brief intelligence and control come and go. Perturbations of a minimal but ominous atmosphere. These are simple at first, but evolve toward short periods of chaos that quickly burn out.

Movement 3: Birth – The A.I. begins to build and grow recursively. Structures surface and are repeated and elaborated. While the programmer looks for signs of intelligence from the A.I., the the A.I. is rapidly learning by reviewing and attempting to emulate recordings of a child speaking.

Movement 4: Childhood – The A.I. recognizes its own existence. Consciousness leads to experimentation, gentle but awkward at first, with a growing edginess and over-sensitivity that suggests intrusiveness, lack of predictability and danger. The countdown to Super Artificial Intelligence has begun.

Buy the EP

We were really proud of this dark ambient piece so we made it available as a high-def EP  https://aiwinter.bandcamp.com/

Instantiate cover art

 

About A.I. Winter

A.I. Winter is a self-appointed harbinger of the progress of Artificial Intelligence toward world domination. It imposes its musical interpretations of cosmic machine consciousness on the world at large.

Michael O’Bannon (Atlanta, GA) and Mark Mosher (Boulder, CO) first met at Electro-Music 2010. Throughout the years they’ve collaborated loosely with Mark on the music side and Michael on visuals. For the first time, Michael and Mark will be joining forces as a musical duo to offer the soundtrack of a cautionary tale considering the risks of super-human artificial intelligence. Michael is a psychologist who explores sound design, the interplay of visual and sound stimuli in performance, and multimedia programming with Max6. Mark, who’s been going deep with Octatrack and Absynth, will be exploring sonic expression via dynamic sampling, real-time morphing and complex granular manipulations.

For more information visit my project page on this collaboration.

 

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A.I. Winter Events Releases

One Year Anniversary of A.I. Winter’s “Instantiate” Dark Ambient EP + Making-Of

Cover of A.I. Winter Instantiate EP
Cover of A.I. Winter Instantiate EP

A year ago September at Electro-Music 2014 NY I performed one of the best sets of my electronic music career as part of the duo A.I. Winter. This performance was the culmination of 4 months of remote collaboration where Michael O’Bannon.  We worked for four months via phone, Dropbox, and Evernote to compose a 20 minute piece with 4 movements for two Elektron Octatrack hardware sampler instruments.

Our performance was really well received and I am super happy and proud with the set. One year ago today we released a live recording  of the performance as the EP Instantiate.

Listen below and please consider a purchase so you can download high-quality (High Rez MP3, FLAC, OGG…) “name your price” https://aiwinter.bandcamp.com/album/instantiate.

Behind-the-scenes of A.I. Winter Instantiate

About the Duo

Michael O’Bannon (Atlanta, GA) and Mark Mosher (Boulder, CO) first met at Electro-Music 2010. Throughout the years they’ve collaborated loosely with Mark on the music side and Michael on visuals. For the first time, Michael and Mark will be joining forces as a musical duo to offer the soundtrack of a cautionary tale considering the risks of super-human artificial intelligence. Michael is a psychologist who explores sound design, the interplay of visual and sound stimuli in performance, and multimedia programming with Max6. Mark, who’s been going deep with Octatrack and Absynth, will be exploring sonic expression via dynamic sampling, real-time morphing and complex granular manipulations.

The Book and an encounter at asheville elector-music 2014

our-final-inventionLast year I read part of the non-fiction book Our Final Invention on the airplane ride out to perform at Electro-Music Asheville. I bumped into Micheal a gathering the night before the event and we started discussing this book. We got to talking about all this and that night decided to form the duo A.I. Winter.

A.I. Winter is a self-appointed harbinger of the progress of Artificial Intelligence toward world domination. It imposes its musical interpretations of cosmic machine consciousness on the world at large.

Our objective was to work together remotely to compose a 20-25 minute pieced and perform the piece at Electro-Music NY  which was four months away.

Concept

ai-winter-banner

For this performance we wanted to do an origin story piece for our work and came up with…

”From the barren nanoscapes inside our personal devices come furtive anthems hummed by those digital servants who will one day be our overlords…”.

From here, we wrote the back-story for each movement.

Track 1: Stasis – A still, slow moving “present time”. Drones and melodies with an occasional perturbation to foreshadow what is coming.

Track 2: Stirrings – Bursts of brief intelligence and control come and go. Perturbations of a minimal but ominous atmosphere. These are simple at first, but evolve toward short periods of chaos that quickly burn out.

Track 3: Birth – The A.I. begins to build and grow recursively. Structures surface and are repeated and elaborated. While the programmer looks for signs of intelligence from the A.I., the the A.I. is rapidly learning by reviewing and attempting to emulate recordings of a child speaking.

Track 4: Childhood – The A.I. recognizes its own existence. Consciousness leads to experimentation, gentle but awkward at first, with a growing edginess and over-sensitivity that suggests intrusiveness, lack of predictability and danger. The countdown to Super Artificial Intelligence has begun.

Remote Collaboration

Since Michael lives 2,100 miles away, we collaborated by phone, dropbox, and through a shared folder with checklists in Evernote.

ai-winter-evernote

Michael  used Max 6, Reaktor, and Kontakt to create original harmonic content for the Octatrack. I used only original presets I’d created using Native Instruments Absynth synthesizer plus field recordings as Octatrack food.

Just to give you an example of the work that went into one sonic element – in the movement “Birth”, I’m imagining the A.I. scanning through databases of childhood development and experimenting with mimicking and then re-writing it’s code to adapt. I used some samples of my daughter from when she was 5. I created a “rotor” patch in Absynth (inspired by John Bowen’s Solaris Synth) that allows me to modulate the speed at which 3 samples are played round-robin while advancing the play head. I can rotor very slowly or at near audio rates. I load all this into the Octatrack and perform and modulate expressively from there.

Rehearsal

Even though we worked for months on this piece we had to wait till we got to the event to rehearse face-to-face. Electro-Music is at a remote retreat in Huguenot, NY so we made use of one of the great rooms of a lodge to rehearse the piece multiple times before we performed it. It was quite an inspiring locale for a rehearsal.

Performance

We performed the set live as you hear it on the recording using only two Octatrack hardware samplers plus Michael used an Arturia Beatstep to control volumes on his Octatrack. In a related note we did our own visuals for the show. We used a very subtle projection using live camera input.

Performance of “Birth” at Gates Concert Hall Lamont School of Music University of Denver

In a related note, I performed track 3 “Birth” form this EP solo at the Gates Concert Hall for the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver  last year. While my daughter did not perform on this this piece live, she perform with me on an improvisational piece with me at this show. Check out the Westword magazine review of this event.

Credits

– Written and produced by Michael O’Bannon & Mark Mosher
– Performed live by Michael O’Bannon (Octatrack) & Mark Mosher (Octatrack)
– Voice of child on “Birth” by Lizzy Mosher
– Mastered by Mark Mosher
– Cover design by Mark Mosher
– Cover photo is a screen grab from video by Katie Rhodes
– Digital recording at Electro-Music event by Robert Dorschel
– Copyright 2014 Michael O’Bannon & Mark Mosher

Thanks

Thanks to Howard Moskovitz, Greg Waltzer, Hong Waltzer and all the volunteers who make Electro-Music events possible.

Download

https://aiwinter.bandcamp.com/album/instantiate

More to Come from A.I. Winter

Michael and I just started talking about working on another piece to perform in 2016. Subscribe to this blog for future updates on the project.

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Categories
A.I. Winter Concert Events Releases

New EP by My Duo A.I. Winter Recorded Live at Electro-Music NY 2014

Instantiate Cover 550

The Electro-Music NY festival was really great this year. In addition to playing my solo set, Atlanta-based artist Michael O’Bannon and I had our debut performances as A.I. Winter. Michael and I worked for months via phone, Dropbox, and Evernote to compose a 20 minute piece with 4 movements for two Elektron Octatrack hardware sampler instruments.

Our performance was really well received and I am super happy and proud with the set. I’ve mastered the live recording from this event and released it as an EP with 4 tracks (one for each of the movements) on bandcamp https://aiwinter.bandcamp.com/album/instantiate.

The piece and EP is called “Instantiate” and is 21 minutes long if you listen to all 4 movements. It’s a slow evolving dark ambient piece with some serious stereo imaging so use headphones :^)

Photos from A.I. Winter Set

I’m still organizing all the photos and video that were taken at the event. I plan to release a video of our performance in the weeks to come. For now, enjoy a few photos from the set.

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IMG_3758

ai-winter-fb-crop

ai winter 01

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New Web Site and Social Media Links for A.I. Winter

Michael and I had such a great time and response to our set, we’ve decided to turn this project into an ongoing duo. Check out our web site www.AIWinter.net, like us on Facebook, and follows on Twitter :^)