Associate Professor, Bob Sturm from KTH is putting on The Ai Music Generation Challenge 2023, which focuses on “Artificial Music Traditions”: https://github.com/boblsturm/aimusicgenerationchallenge2023
Unlike the previous three editions (2020, 2021, 2022), the 2023 challenge is focused on generating an artificial music tradition rather than generating a particular form of existing traditional music.
What is the challenge?
Use any kind of artificial intelligence (one system or many different systems) in any way to generate an artificial music tradition. This could entail symbolic music, audio recordings, lyrics, dances, imagery, costumes, myths, instruments, ephemera, websites, ethnomusicological or anthropological studies, and so on. To make this more concrete some possibilities could be:
- Instrumental music from an imaginary country
- Teetotaler songs of a Nordic community
- Music to accompany royal visits to medieval garderobes
- Alien music practices resulting from the discovery and “decoding” of the record on Voyager 1
Particular inspirations for the 2023 challenge include:
- Aisteach | Preserving the history of Ireland’s Avant-Garde
- The CFL Sessions
- The Last LP: Unique Last Recordings Of The Music Of Ancient Cultures (1987)
- The Invention of Tradition, Hobspawn and Ranger (eds), 2012.
- By SEPTEMBER 4, register your intent to participate by notifying the organizer.
- Start generating documentary evidence of your artificial music tradition.
- Write a document describing your team and technical process, as well as reflecting on issues surrounding cultural appropriation in the submitted work, and clarity regarding its use of data and its intentions.
- By DECEMBER 8, email the organizer:
- a link to download the documentary evidence of your artificial music tradition.
- your document (pdf).
One can see this challenge as a call for work to be considered for a future festival. The judges are “curators”, who are looking to create a compelling program of “music traditions” generated entirely by, or with the assistance of, artificial intelligence. This future festival aims to delve deep into theoretical and practical questions of the application of artificial intelligence to culture, raising awareness of the many issues and dilemmas involved, from the economic and political to the technological and (post)humanistic. The curators seek to programme works showcasing a diversity of approaches and outcomes, and are especially interested in multi-layered work crossing material boundaries, all the while using artificial intelligence in some way or another. The curators are not necessarily looking for finished or complete work, but instead work that has a clear connection to the theme of the festival, showing evidence of deep reflection on the associated issues, and that can contribute to engaging and productive discussion.
The curators retain the right to not programme submitted work for a variety of reasons, including a lack of transparency, a lack of consideration of the use of data from existing cultures, and so on.