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30 January

Björk’s new track changes with the weather

 

Like other musicians before her, the Icelandic artist Björk has been seduced by artificial intelligence. Working with Microsoft, she has developed an evolutive music that’s sensitive to weather changes and the flight of birds. 

By Lolita Mang

Has artificial intelligence become the favourite new tool of musicians? While its use in music might not have everyone in agreement, it can’t be denied that more and more artists are going for it. French producer Jean-Michel Jarre, a long established fan of AI, works with algorithms that allow him to associate musical notes with individuals. Good or bad, the idea has gone down well with a slice of society and has even given rise to works of fiction based on this simple idea. As is the case of the animated series Carole and Tuesday, shown on Netflix since 2019: set in the future, culture, and above all music, is produced by artificial intelligence with algorithms producing the biggest hits and keeping their producers high in the music charts. 

 

Today, it’s the Icelandic artist Björk who is joining the ranks of musicians collaborating with AI. Not surprising really given the artist’s long history of working with the most cutting edge technology. In 2011, she released Biophilia, her eighth album, accompanied by an educational app developed with Apple. The record was the first to exploit interactive technologies on the mobile phone. Now, together with Microsoft Björk has invented an evolutive music that changes according to the weather.

björk biophilia app intro narrated by david attenborough

The project was unveiled in the lobby of the Sister City hotel in New York. Up on the roof of the building, a camera captures the activity of the sky, from the rain to a passing airplane, 24/7. The artificial intelligence transforms these movements into specific sounds created by Björk herself. The musical base of this installation is the archives of a chorale written by the singer some 17 years ago. The notes are then diffused in Sister City’s lobby. The hotel’s restaurant is also offering special listening sessions every Sunday afternoon until February 23rd. 

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