Singer and songwriter Björk is not new to the field as she generally uses technology to express her music in more inventive ways, but this time she uses it to shape the music itself into unexpected forms. The Icelandic music star uses Microsoft AI as part of Kórsafn ("choral archives"), a non-stop composition that plays in the lobby of the Sister City Hotel in New York. The play plays selections from many Björk choir arrangements (including new ones by the Hamrahlid choir) based on what the AI sees in the sky through a camera located on the top floor of the hotel. It will react based on different types of clouds, bird behavior, passing aircraft and even barometric pressure. The long-term weather trends will gradually change the music as well.
The composition is the second in a series of "lobby soundcapes" created with the help of Microsoft and Sister City. The first was a piece by the experimental artist Julianna Barwick that was released in parallel with the hotel itself in April 2019.
AI-based music is not new. Arca (or as it is called Jesse Kanda, a partner of Bjάrk) created an ever-evolving soundtrack for New York Museum of Modern Art, while Holly Herndon used AI as a virtual partner for the Proto album. However, Björk's involvement can only draw attention to technology, both for artists looking for inspiration as well as for fans who want to see how AI can shape his loved ones artists. We will look in depth at Kórsafn in the near future.
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