Sydney Festival Presents: Holly Herndon

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.

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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


  • 16 Jan - 16 Jan, 20
  • Regular price $39.00 $20.00 Playwave Price

  • Suitable for ages 18+
  • Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent
    Archibald Fountain
    Hyde Park North
    110 Elizabeth st
    Sydney NSW 2000

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