(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.
(Mark Mosher Music News) Good Reads

“The Treatise on Musical Objects” by Pierre Schaeffer – I’m goin’ in!

“The Treatise on Musical Objects” by Pierre Schaeffer. 600+ pages. I’m goin’ in!

(Modulate This) Ableton Good Reads Sound Design

Good Read: Ableton Interview “Jon Hassell: Possible Musics”

Ableton just released a fantastic interview with New York trumpeter and composer Jon Hassell.


The interview covers among other things his studies with Stockhausen, his coining of the term “Fourth World”,  his early work with Fairlight CMI, work with Bob Moog on a sound sculpture, with lots of inspiring information on his practice and art.

There was this guy named Bob Moog who came around with his new idea of one Volt equals one octave, which became the Moog synthesizer. (We actually collaborated on a sound sculpture later; a tape loop within a box that had a double reflective mirror on the inside, and every time there was a “blip”, a colored light went off. It was like this little fairyland of blips going by and each one had an output to six speakers around the room.)

Check out the article here:

2018 then seems to be auspicious moment for Jon Hassell to release a new album. Listening To Pictures (Pentimento Volume One) is his first collection of new music for nine years and represents an updated reconfiguration of all the signature elements of Hassell’s magical realists soundworld: the lush chords and fine-grained textures, the oddly intricate rhythm structures that propel forward while revolving around their own axis, and of course, the treated trumpet lines, sounding somewhere between an intimate whisper and a chorus of conch shells.

Listen to his latest album on bandcamp: Listening To Pictures (Pentimento Volume One).


Check out Jon’s bandcamp page here

jon hassell bandcamp___

Mark Mosher
Synthesist & Multimedia Artist

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(Modulate This) Good Reads Synth & Performance Mastery

Good Read on Mastery for Synthesists – “Disrupt Yourself” by Whitney Johnson

In a world flooded with instant-on, presets, and apps that make complex extremely simple – I've been thinking more about the value of the artistic journey and mastery. To this end I've been reading books on the matter and thought I'd pass on some good reads in this and future posts. I also created a category called Synth & Performance Mastery.

I recently finished "Disrupt Yourself" by Whitney Johnson. The book on the surface is about personal career paths. However, whether your day job is in the music industry or not, the concepts in the book are transportable to the journey of artistic mastery.

One of the key concepts in the book as explained by Johnson –

"I believe the S-curve can also be used to understand personal disruption – the necessary pivots in our own career paths".

"If you can successfully navigate, even harness, the successive cycles of learning and mastering that resemble the S-curve model, you will see and seize opportunities in an era of accelerating disruption".

Of course this s-curve notion is explained in detail in the book and I'm not going to attempt to try and distill it here. I will say that after reading the book, I loved this idea of navigating the S-Curve. As someone who's been doing synthesis for over 30 years, I found this book helped me better understand the ebb and flow of my creativity in relation to where I am on the mastery curve with a particular set of instruments, chops – or with a particular style of show I was producing and performing. The S-curve model she lays out in the book can help you understand some emotions around boredom you may find at the top of the curve.

This notion of "navigating" S-curve cycles can help you leverage past mastery and current passions to pick the next S-curve on your artistic journey and punch-in closer to the "hypergrowth" section of the curve. For me, this has the potential to increase my happiness quotient as an artist.

I did this as a Kindle read. It's also available in hard cover and audible.

Amazon link:

Author's Microsite: