AI meets Music

AI meets Music

A collaboration between the Oxford team in the EPSRC FAST project and the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) is leading to exciting new music research and compositions.

The Future Music event at RNCM on 13 June looked at current developments in new music and technology, including Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, and Live Coding, asking what possibilities lie ahead for the music creators of the future – questioning not just the impact of machines on music but also on us as people.  This included a performance of composer Robert Laidlow’s “Three Entistatios for Chamber Ensemble”, a piece co-created with AI, by the RNCM New Ensemble. Oxford composers Jonathan Packham and Nick Moroz also featured in the programme, with “virtual reality+” and “musical robots”.

Rob’s work on AI in music composition is part of the RNCM Centre for Practice and Research in Science (PRiSM), a ground-breaking interdisciplinary research centre bringing together creative collaborations between the sciences and music. The PRiSM team includes Emily Howard, who is professor of composition at RNCM and a visiting researcher at Oxford e-Research Centre, together with Oxford academics David De Roure and Marcus du Sautoy. The collaboration has been supported by the EPSRC FAST project, and RNCM recently received a significant award from Research England’s Expanding Excellence in England Fund to support the centre.

David notes “our work is about using AI to support the human composer – as well as giving us insight into the capabilities of emerging AI techniques, we’re deeply interested in how humans interact creatively with the machine. This is certainly a glimpse of things to come.”

In a busy week of AI events, David De Roure presented “From Creative Computing to Computational Creativity” as part of the Data Science for the Arts session at the CogX Festival of AI and Emerging Technology, on the Alan Turing Research Stage. David talked about the work of the Turing’s Digital Humanities and Data Science group, drawing on his project on Data Science and Music.

The next PRISM event is “Ada Lovelace - Imagining the Analytical Engine” on 2 November at the Barbican. Described as “an uncompromising musical tribute to a woman who united the worlds of 19th-century romanticism and cutting-edge science”, the event includes newly commissioned works by both Emily Howard and Rob Laidlow.

Rob Laidlow also appeared in an edition of Radio 3's Music Matters on 22 June, discussing AI and the future of music.

Find out more

PRiSM Future music (13 Jun 19) event page

Information about PRiSM, the RNCM Centre for Practice and Research in Science and Music

News article; PRiSM awarded prestigious Research England E3 funding

CogX official website

Upcoming PRISM event Ada Lovelace - Imagining the Analytical Engine