Machine Music

The first time I heard Oxygene was on a set of headphones in 1977. Strange eerie sounds produced by instruments different to than anything I had heard before. At the end of side 1 of the record I realized something unusual. No-one had ever produced music like that before. I was unable to get out of my chair. Maybe unwilling was more accurate. I was floating, completely in a trance. I had no previous experience to compare this with, but I instantly knew one thing for certain; I had found a solution to my issue with asthma.

I had my favourite music genres and artists like any other teenager, but I needed Jean Michele. This unusual “synthesized” music became a form of self hypnosis for me, and the beginning of a lifelong interest in this new music style.

It is easy in hindsight to see why synthesized music became linked with AI. Unlike other traditional instruments, without the flow of electrons, no sound could be produced. This was considered artificial music, and rather than seeing it as a flaw, many groups exploited that perception. Artists became rigid and emotionless in performances to enhance the audiences experience.

A new type of dance emerged along with the music which saw young people display amazing feats of kinetic intelligence while emulating robotic movement.

Breakdancing Fiction

While cognitive computing and machine learning seem more likely to be the future of AI rather than the occurrence of The Singularity, there is one thing that I would want, should it occur. I want to hear the music. I want to hear a thinking machines version of the music which we have been simulating for almost 40 years. I want to hear synthesized music created by real artificial musicians.


7 thoughts on “Machine Music

  1. Interesting.
    I have a friend who really into those kind of music. There is a humanoid persona voiced by synthesiser app produced by a Japanese company very popular in Asia. Her name is Miku. And she even has performed at concert in Shanghai as animated projection.


    1. Just had a quick view of that animated Miku concert Song. Most of the audience was male.I think its a phenomenon that’s difficult for the Western mind to grasp.But its proof that a musician doesn’t need to be human to be popular.


      1. Yea, exactly . As long as people love their performance , they just don’t care if performers are human being or not .

        But at the moment , many AI technologies prefer to get people’s attention by using human appearance or voice. Maybe one day they just exist in the format of what they are. And people would not care if it looks like human or not .


  2. In a way I’m saddened by this and excited at the same time. Can a cold machine, incapable of real human emotion write a song from the heart?, maybe they can make one that sounds like it but it somewhat lacks resonance, its not always about the song, the back story is sometimes as important, think of “Imagine” by John Lennon . On the other hand machines are not limited by ten fingers two arms and a mouth, who is to say that incredible music couldn’t be made if only we had more arms ors mouths etc!


    1. Or how about a different concept of scale and tone and pitch? or a completely different way to approach music? I agree with your comment; after overindulging on electronic music, something wooden,acoustic and stringed with a good singing voice and words is needed to cleanse the palette.


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