Flow Records is the first ever music label dedicated to the production of music using artificial intelligence. Its first album ‘Hello World’ by artist SKYGGE (producer Benoit Carré) was created with the help of the Flow Machines project (computer scientist and AI expert François Pachet) and fifteen artists. The project is funded by the EU’s European Research Council.
Hello World is the first multi-artist, mainstream music album composed with artificial intelligence. Its goal is to show that AI can be used to create new, compelling music, generating fresh musical material of all sorts: melodies, harmonies, timbre, rhythms and the like. Basically, the system analyzes music styles in terms of beats, melody and harmony, and then outputs an original piece of music based on that style.
AI expert François Pachet notes to Phys Org, “You know in English you say every Lennon needs a McCartney – so that’s the kind of stuff we are aiming at. We are not aiming at autonomous creation. I don’t believe that’s interesting, I don’t believe it’s possible actually, because we have no clue how to give a computer a sense of agency, a sense that something is going somewhere, (that) it has some meaning, a soul, if you want.”
It’s inevitable that music production methods will be simplified as technology advances, but let’s hope that doesn’t stifle creativity or discourage the younger generation from learning to play an instrument the old-fashioned way.
It’s evident from listening to the tracks below that the “human touch” is still there. I was worried the songs would sound too robotic, but I was pleasantly surprised. The album includes collaborations with Stromae, Kiesza, Kyrie Kristmanson, Camille Bertault, The Pirouettes, Médéric Collignon, C.Duncan, Michael Lovett from NZCA LINES and JATA.