Fully Automated Luxury Composition
Keywords:Utopia, Generative Music, Automation
AbstractThis practice-based research attempts to answer the question of how utopian thinking might be applied to popular music composition. It begins by looking at automation, utopia and the utopian impulse and how they compliment as well as conflict with understandings of popular music. A methodology is established using automated, generative music techniques, based on Attali’s ideas of a future mode of composition where anyone can produce streams of non-ritualized, non-repetitive music. The resulting practice-based research tests the incorporation of these techniques into popular music composition. It also highlights conflicts between a generative mode of utopian composition that tends toward infinite, endless streams of music and the finite intentionality demanded by expectations of popular music shaped by capitalism. This opens up areas for further research investigating how far utopian thinking can help resist the pressures of capitalism in relation to popular music composition.
Adorno, T. W. 1941. On Popular Music. (with George Simpson). Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung 9(1): 17-48. http://dx.doi.org/10.5840/zfs1941913
Attali, J. 1977. Noise: The Political Economy of Music. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Collins, N. and Brown, A. R. (2009) Generative Music Editorial. Contemporary Music Review 28:1, pages 1-4. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07494460802663967
De Cock, C. 2009. Jumpstarting the future with Fredric Jameson: Reflections on capitalism, science fiction and Utopia. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 22 (4): 437–449. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/09534810910967198
Jameson, F. –
, Archaeologies of the Future: The Desire Called Utopia and Other Science Fictions. New York: Verso.
, Valences of the Dialectic. New York: Verso.
Manuel, P. (2013), Modernity and Musical Structure: Neo-Marxist Perspectives on Song Form and Its Successors. In R. B. Qureshi Ed. Music and Marx: Ideas, Practise, Politics. New York: Routledge: 45-62.
Rando, D.P. 2014. The Music of Wish Images: Walter Benjamin, Filesharing, and Utopia. Journal of Popular Music Studies 26 (2-3): 321–345. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jpms.12079
Schafer, R. M. 1994. The Soundscape: Our Sonic Environment and the Tuning of the World. Rochester, Vt: Destiny Books.
Stokes, M. 2013. Marx, Money, and Musicians. In R. B. Qureshi Ed. Music and Marx: Ideas, Practise, Politics. New York: Routledge: 139-163.
Williams, A. and Srnicek, N. 2015. Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work. London: Verso.
Novara Media, 2014, “Fully Automated Luxury Communism!”, YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmQ-BZ3eWxM. Accessed: 4 December 2017.
Sony CSL-Paris, 2016, “Daddy's Car: a song composed by Artificial Intelligence - in the style of the Beatles”, YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSHZ_b05W7o. Accessed: 4 December 2017.
The Long Now Foundation, 2003, Brian Eno Interviewed by D Hillis, Seminars About Long-term Thinking, 14 November. http://longnow.org/seminars/02003/nov/14/the-long-now/. Accessed: 4 December 2017.
Authors retain copyright, while licensing their work under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.