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(Mark Mosher Music News) Artistic Practice Artistic Process Atificial Intelligence Good Reads

Austin Kleon on Artificial Intelligence in the Arts

While drinking my morning coffee I bumped into a blog post on Artificial Intelligence in the arts by writer Austin Kleon. I thought I would it was thought provoking so I I’m passing it along. Enjoy.

Artificial Intelligence Blog Post by Austin Kleon

A robot drawn by Austin Kleon’s son for him to color, 2017

This note made me laugh. 

“We chose instead to pick the best parts of each… We cut lines and paragraphs, and rearranged the order of them in some places.”

Honey, that means a human wrote this piece.

Writing is editing. It is about making choices.

So you fed a robot a prompt, got eight different “essays,” and stitched together the best parts to make a piece of writing? Congratulations, human! You’ve just outsourced the easiest parts of writing and kept the hardest parts. 

When Nick Cave was asked if AI could create a great song, he emphasized that when we listen to music, we aren’t just listening to the music, we’re listening to the story of the musicians, too:

We are listening to Beethoven compose the Ninth Symphony while almost totally deaf. We are listening to Prince, that tiny cluster of purple atoms, singing in the pouring rain at the Super Bowl and blowing everyone’s minds. We are listening to Nina Simone stuff all her rage and disappointment into the most tender of love songs. We are listening to Paganini continue to play his Stradivarius as the strings snapped. We are listening to Jimi Hendrix kneel and set fire to his own instrument.

What we are actually listening to is human limitation and the audacity to transcend it. Artificial Intelligence, for all its unlimited potential, simply doesn’t have this capacity. How could it? And this is the essence of transcendence. If we have limitless potential then what is there to transcend? And therefore what is the purpose of the imagination at all. Music has the ability to touch the celestial sphere with the tips of its fingers and the awe and wonder we feel is in the desperate temerity of the reach, not just the outcome. Where is the transcendent splendour in unlimited potential? So to answer your question, Peter, AI would have the capacity to write a good song, but not a great one. It lacks the nerve.

https://austinkleon.com/2020/09/10/artificial-intelligence/
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(Mark Mosher Music News) (Modulate This) A.I. Winter Atificial Intelligence

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 Atificial Intelligence 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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Atificial Intelligence Concert Events Tour

Flying Out To NY To Attend and Play 2 Sets at Electro-Music 2014 Festival and Conference Sept. 5-7

em2014shirtback

This year’s Electro-Music NY Festival and conference is on September 5-7, 2014 at the Greenkill Retreat Center in Huguenot, New York.

ABOUT THIS EVENT

The electro-music(TM) festival is the world’s premiere event for experimental electronic music. Now in its tenth year, this three day conference/music festival includes concerts, seminars, demonstrations, jam sessions, a swap meet, and a laptop battle. The scope is very broad, covering all aspects of electro-music: experimental electronic music, circuit bending, computer music, electro-jazz, modular synthesis, musique concrete, improvisation, algorithmic composition, multi-media, visual art and much more. The focus will be on participant involvement, sharing, community development, audience education, and great music.

INFO ON MY SETS

This will be my 7th Electro-Music event and my 4th time at the the NY version. Getting involved with Electro-Music festivals is one of the best things I’ve done as a solo artist. It’s just an amazing event where you’ll see and hear some amazing performances and forge life-long friendships with other artists.

Cinematic Electronica with Invader Cam Set

I’ll be flying out to this show from Boulder to play my Cinematic Electronica set with Invader cam. Here is a video of the song “New Heart Beating” from my new album Fear Cannot Save Us.

I will be playing this rig for this set which includes Nord Lead 4, Ableton Push, AudioCubes, Tenori-on and Ableton Live with interactive visuals with live camera input.

Here are some sample videos from past concerts. First off, a video from Pacific Northwest Synthfest in Seattle http://youtu.be/m0gJnXPoGI0.

Video from Electro-Music Asheville 2014 http://youtu.be/uoBJ2jJ7S-w.

A.I. Winter Set
I’ll be playing a set as in a brand new duo called A.I. Winter with Atlanta-based artist Michael O’Bannon.

Ai winter 01

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.

For this set both Michael and I will be performing with 100% custom sounds each on our own Ocatatracks.

image

To learn more about A.I. Winter visit the microsite http://www.AIWinter.net.

MORE INFO

If you’d like to learn more about what this particular event read Show Report: Electro-Music 2010 Festival in Huguenot NY. I’ve also setup a category on Modulate This! for posts related to all Electro-Music events http://www.modulatethis.com/electro-music/.

Here are some really cool photos from past events.

image

Categories
Atificial Intelligence Releases Single

New Single “It Doesn’t Have to Hate Us to Use Our Molecules” Now Available

markmosher-molecules

Now on iTunes, Amazon,  and Bandcamp “It Doesn’t Have to Hate Us to Use Our Molecules”

This dark cinematic electronica song was inspired by James Barrat’s book “Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era” – www.jamesbarrat.com). I worked on this single and the video for it for over a month so please give it a full listen and if you enjoy the song consider a buy. It’s $0.99 on iTunes and Amazon and is $1 Bandcamp where you get to choose from many formats including high-res MP3, and FLAC.

Teaser Video for Song + Mentions by James Barrat

I shot a teaser video during one of the recording sessions for this song and shared this with the author who left a nice comment on youtube…

james-barrat
plus featured the video on his press page http://www.jamesbarrat.com/press/ – woot!

Behind-The-Scenes

This is really a live version of the song recorded in two sessions – the first on June 4th, 2014, the second on July 19th, 2014. I first sequenced the underpinnings of the song then rehearsed controlling the arrangement on-the-fly and playing the lead lines as well as some sound manipulation in real-time. Once I felt good about my performance, I recorded the song directly to a digital recorder (Zoom H2n). I then picked my favorite takes from each session and combined them using Ableton Live and only used light mastering FX to sweeten the mix. I made the video above while recording the first session. You’ll notice what’s on the final version is in fact what you see in the above video recorded as a continuous take :^)

If you listen back a few times you’ll hear that it’s quite an unusual arrangement in that I really mix up how the motifs are repeated and combined. I vary the lead lines in each section as well.

All synth elements are from the Nord Lead 4 synthesizer which I played live and sequenced live via Octatrack. I make heavy use of step-level automation to manipulate parameters on the Nord Lead via MIDI CC messages. I also sequenced real-time automation plus manipulate the Nord on-the-fly. The Octatrack also acted as a mixer allowing me to record audio down to the digital recorder as a stereo pair.

CLICK HERE to buy on iTunes

CLICK HERE to buy on Amazon

CLICK HERE to listen to full track and buy MP3 version on Bandcamp

Mark Mosher
Synthesist, Composer, Sound Designer, Producer
Boulder, CO
www.MarkMosherMusic.com

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(Modulate This) Atificial Intelligence Sound Design

Teaser Video for New Song “It Doesn’t Have to Hate Us to Use Our Molecules” #CinematicElectronica

It-Doesnt-Have-To-Hate-Us-To-Use-Our

I’ve just uploaded a new video teaser for a new song called "It Doesn't Have To Hate Us To Use Our Molecules".

Inspiration

This song is inspired by the book "Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era".Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era". In this must read non-fiction book, James Barrat (http://www.jamesbarrat.com/ | https://twitter.com/jrbarrat) explains in clear terms the rise of artificial intelligence and it’s potential impact on mankind…

In as little as a decade, AI could match and then surpass human intelligence. Corporations and government agencies are pouring billions into achieving AI’s Holy Grail—human-level intelligence. Once AI has attained it, scientists argue, it will have survival drives much like our own. We may be forced to compete with a rival more cunning, more powerful, and more alien than we can imagine.

Through profiles of tech visionaries, industry watchdogs, and groundbreaking AI systems, Our Final Invention explores the perils of the heedless pursuit of advanced AI. Until now, human intelligence has had no rival. Can we coexist with beings whose intelligence dwarfs our own? And will they allow us to?

I’ll be releasing this and other songs inspired by the book in the future. Sign-up to email newsletter to get notified.

James Barrat Added Video to His Site

Shortly after releasing this video, James Barrat posted a link to it on his web site :^) http://www.jamesbarrat.com/press/

Music Production Notes
All synth elements are from the Nord Lead 4 being both played live and sequenced live via Octatrack. I make heavy use of trig-level automation to manipulate parameters on the Nord Lead via MIDI CC messages. I also sequenced real-time automation plus manipulate the Nord on-the-fly.

The Octatrack also acted as a mixer allowing me to record audio down to a Zoom H2n digital recorder in real-time in one-pass with no edits. Drums are samples sequenced within Octatrack.

Video Production Notes
I used a combination of practical projection with video feedback, real-time video effects via two webcams run through visual Software Resolume, and primary footage captured with a GoPro. I then composited all the shots in video editing software with only a teeny bit of  post-production to create this dark – almost old-school analog video processing vibe.

The computers in the video are there to process and capture video from the two web cams – plus are part of the shot as a story element and for side-lighting. One is being used to project a camera in real-time over my right shoulder. This same camera is also seeing the projection which causes video feedback.

This rig is quite snappy, so all the latency between the different versions of my image are intentional introduced with the video editing software to create tension.

Mark Mosher
Synthesist, Composer, Sound Designer, Producer
Boulder, CO
http://www.MarkMosherMusic.com