Sydney Festival Presents: Holly Herndon
Holly Herndon conducts, and duets with, her "AI baby" Spawn and PROTO vocal ensemble in an astounding live sonic experience.
Berlin-based US musician Holly Herndon has investigated the avant-garde and liminal edges of electronic pop since 2012; her latest project steps into all new realms.
Herndon developed AI program Spawn – programmed with voice patches from an ensemble of human vocalists and designed to grow on its own with machine-learning programming – and on PROTO conducts, and duets with, her “AI baby”.
While recording vocal samples with her human choir in weekly “learning sessions”, Herndon said, “Spawn [became] an ensemble member… creating percussive sounds from her own imagination like a baby babbling and mimicking its parents. Humans replicate digital processes; digital intelligences replicate humans.”
In an intense wall of sound, human-sung melodies intertwine with synthetic voices, and the demimonde of Berlin’s nightclubs rubs up against Sacred Harp music in an astounding live sonic experience.
The Risky Stuff: Contains haze, lighting effects
Running Time: 70 minutes - no interval
Presented by Sydney Festival 2020 at Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent
5 STARS “An album of dizzying, spiritual, science-fact beauty and bracing beats” – The Guardian (Proto review)
“[A] masterpiece of avant-garde futurism” – The Bay Bridged