Musician Taryn Southern Is Composing Her New Album with Artificial Intelligence: Hear the First Track

“Break Free” is a new song by Taryn and Amper. The for­mer, Taryn South­ern, is a musi­cian and singer pop­u­lar on Youtube. The lat­ter, how­ev­er, is not human at all. Instead, Amper is an arti­fi­cial­ly intel­li­gent music com­pos­er, pro­duc­er and per­former, devel­oped by a com­bi­na­tion of “music and tech­nol­o­gy experts” and now put to the test, being the engine behind Taryn’s sin­gle and even­tu­al­ly a full album, ten­ta­tive­ly called I AM AI.

To under­stand what is Taryn and what is Amper in this project, the singer talks about it in this Verge inter­view:

The way it works is to give the plat­form cer­tain input like BPM, instru­men­ta­tion that I like, genre, key, etc. The plat­form will spit a song out at me, and then I can iter­ate from there, mak­ing adjust­ments to the instru­ments and the key. I can even change the genre or emo­tion­al feel or the song, until I get some­thing that I’m rel­a­tive­ly hap­py with. Once I have that, I down­load all the stems of the instru­men­ta­tion to build actu­al song struc­ture.

What Amper’s real­ly good at is com­pos­ing and pro­duc­ing instru­men­ta­tion, but it doesn’t yet under­stand song struc­ture. It might give you a verse or the cho­rus and it’s up to me to stitch these pieces togeth­er so that it sounds like some­thing famil­iar you would hear on the radio. Once I’m hap­py with the song, then I write the vocal melody and lyrics.

The key sen­tence for cyn­ics is the sec­ond to last one. Amper deliv­ers the famil­iar, or rather, Taryn makes Amper work until she gets some­thing famil­iar. AI is not at the stage yet where it might sur­prise us with a deci­sion, except in the cas­es where it goes spec­tac­u­lar­ly wrong. Right now it’s very good at learn­ing pat­terns, at imi­tat­ing, at deliv­er­ing a vari­a­tion on a theme. (That’s why it’s real­ly good at imi­ta­tion Bach, for exam­ple.)

We could imag­ine, how­ev­er, a future where AI would be able to take a num­ber of musi­cal ele­ments, styles, and gen­res and come out with a hybrid that we’ve nev­er heard before. And would that be any bet­ter than hav­ing a human do so?

By the way, you can try out Amper your­self here. Your mileage may vary.

via Elec­tron­ic Beats

Relat­ed con­tent:

Hear What Music Sounds Like When It’s Cre­at­ed by Syn­the­siz­ers Made with Arti­fi­cial Intel­li­gence

Arti­fi­cial Intel­li­gence Pro­gram Tries to Write a Bea­t­les Song: Lis­ten to “Daddy’s Car”

Two Arti­fi­cial Intel­li­gence Chat­bots Talk to Each Oth­er & Get Into a Deep Philo­soph­i­cal Con­ver­sa­tion

Ted Mills is a free­lance writer on the arts who cur­rent­ly hosts the FunkZone Pod­cast. You can also fol­low him on Twit­ter at @tedmills, read his oth­er arts writ­ing at and/or watch his films here.

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