Wednesday, 3 March 2010

virtual musicians: bringing back musical personalities from the dead

From Wired... this is a little neat and a little creepy – re-creations of a dead musician's distinctive performance style through computer technology:

Virtual Musicians, Real Performances: How Artificial Intelligence Is Changing Music
My tech geek side likes the idea of re-performances, the possibilities for hearing things that should have been performed and recorded, and so on. But the cynic (and paranoiac) in me cringes at the use of dead musicians' style as a cheesy gimmick or advertising hook, and the idea of copyrighting and licensing a performance flavour is really distasteful. If you read the Wired story, you'll see I'm not alone here. On top of it all, the dystopian sf fan in me imagines musicians being kept semi-/digitally alive like Dixie Flatline in Neuromancer and feels a little ill at the prospect.

So how do we use this technological potential without turning it into another tool for corporate control over creativity? Or use it respectfully without turning dead artists into caricatures of themselves? Any ideas?---

side note: If you share your life with a pet or six, unless it's as long-lived as a tortoise, you're going to have to deal with animal mortality sooner or later – preferably later. I was hoping our next encounter with later was still a long ways away, but these things always loom sooner than you'd ever want.

If this blog is inspired, in part, by the seven cats I have shared my life with – four living with us now, two passed on, and one moved on to another family – this post is dedicated to one sick little cat who is very close to my heart. This AI stuff makes me wonder, would I hang onto him as a virtual kitty if I could? And I think no, that wouldn't be hanging on but starting a new relationship with a new different kind of cat, however closely he was related to the furry critter that was.

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