ransient by Quayola SetaRelease date: May 20, 2022
Label: State51 Conspiracy
Artificial Intelligence has creeped into our lives, possibly sooner and in more ways than we have expected it. For some, that is too creepy and speaks of dangers. Others are embracing it wholeheartedly.
When Stephen Colbert recently asked Ricky Gervais whether he is afraid of artificial intelligence taking over, Gervais responded: “I’d love for any intelligence to take over.”
It seems that media artist Quayola and his collaborator, musician and technologist Seta, have embraced Gervais’ concept on their first collaboration – Transient. On the album, the duo use complex algorithmic systems to generate the rules by which the piano is freed from hand gestures.
Essentially, as their press release explains, “infinite notes and chromatic elements multiply and articulate themselves in unison. Data creates organic infused patterns, and looped, recurrent rhythms and polyrhythms.” Or, in simplified terms, the music on Transient is both composed and performed by a human/machine combination.
Actually, Transient was developed as an audiovisual concept for two motorised pianos and video projections. The duo uses software especially developed for this project and allows Quayola/Seta to improvise with complex algorithms in real-time, with both sound and images being generated simultaneously.
While, seeing and hearing Quayola/Seta perform Transient live is the way the duo conceived and envisioned this project for, Transient the album has quite enough to offer to inquisitive listeners who want to see where human/machine combination in art and music stands now and where it might take us in the future.