Imagine tuning in to a symphony on 99.5 WCRB Classical New England radio on your next road trip (over J-term perhaps!) and at the end of the piece, hearing Laura Carlo announce the composer as Iamus, a computer from Malaga’s Technology Park, Spain. “Well, I suppose they’ll have trouble introducing modern artists who rose to fame from their own makeshift homemade music studios,” you think to yourself, “This Iamus is being introduced as a ‘commuter'”
Wait a minute, did I get that right?
The brainchild of a team of software gurus and musicians led by Gustavo Diaz-Jerez, Iamus (named after the Greek God who could communicate with birds) was born in the Silicon Valley equivalent of Spain, and blessed with the ability to compose music independently without human help. Iamus has been programmed to confine its musical architecture to be within the capacity of human performance granted by eons of evolution (no 10 note chords for instance). Its (or shall I say his) creations have been performed already by the London Symphony Orchestra, making rather odd but overall pleasant impressions on listeners.
More importantly, Iamus is also adaptable to distinctive cultural flavors. Hindu, for instance, has more notes to its scale than the standard tempered Western scale (octaves consisting of 12 notes). Iamus thus has potential for great ethnic diversity.
Although interpretation and appreciation of music may still require the human soul, computerized sentience may produce a proliferation of compositions that supersede the classical European composers in quantity. That means, we may one day be instructing our children to practice pieces by Beethoven, Chopin, Hadyn,,,,,,,,,,and Iamus.
All media images and videos courtesy of http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20889644, where you may also read the complete article.