A New Black Metal Album Was Just Published — and It Wasn’t Made by a Human

. IN BRIEF An artificial intelligence has produced a five-track black metal album titled “Coditany of Timeness.” The songs were produced by training a neural network with Krallice’s 2011 record Diotima.  DADABOTS/Bandcamp ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE SHREDS Artificial intelligence has already proven its prowess at tasks, from driving cars to making nuclear reactors safer. Now, the technology is being used to create a black metal album that shreds just as fiercely as music produced by humans. Coditany of Timeness is the product of a project undertaken by CJ Carr and Zack Zukowski. It’s a five-track black metal album that features songs with algorithmically generated titles like … Continue reading A New Black Metal Album Was Just Published — and It Wasn’t Made by a Human

Forgotten Pioneer Margaret Fuller on the Singular Power of Music

Margaret Fuller “All truth is comprised in music and mathematics.” BY MARIA POPOVA Aldous Huxley celebrated music an expression of the “blessedness lying at the heart of things.” Philosopher Susanne Langer considered it “a laboratory for feeling and time,” whose mysterious power both eclipses and illuminates all the other arts. “Without music life would be a mistake,” Nietzsche proclaimed in 1889. A century later, music actually, literally saved Oliver Sacks’s life. In a very different way, it had once saved Beethoven’s. While many great writers have composed fervent raptures about the singular power of music, one of the most beautiful and penetrating comes from the forgotten pioneer Margaret Fuller(May 23, 1810–July … Continue reading Forgotten Pioneer Margaret Fuller on the Singular Power of Music

A NEW THEORY AS TO WHY WE LOVE SAD MUSIC

(Photo: Elijah Henderson/Unsplash) New research finds it stimulates a pleasant form of mind-wandering. by TOM JACOBS Ever feel embarrassed to be at a concert, and suddenly realize that your mind has been wandering? This can lead to self-scolding: You paid good money for that ticket, and you didn’t even pay attention! Well, give yourself a break. Chances are you began to mentally drift during a sad song, or the anguished slow movement of a symphony. According to newly published research, that’s a perfectly natural occurrence—and it helps explain why we find melancholy music surprisingly enjoyable. “When listening to sad (as opposed to) … Continue reading A NEW THEORY AS TO WHY WE LOVE SAD MUSIC

Walt Whitman on Beethoven and Music as the Profoundest Expression of Nature

Walt Whitman (Library of Congress) In praise of the “dainty abandon” that awakens us to wonder and carries us outside ourselves. BY MARIA POPOVA “Feeling, life, motion and emotion constitute its import,”philosopher Susanne Langer wrote of music, which she defined as “a highly articulated sensuous object.” Although many great writers have contemplated the power of music, few have articulated it more perfectly or more sensuously than Walt Whitman (May 31, 1819–March 26, 1892) does in Specimen Days (public library) — the sublime collection of prose fragments and journal entries, which gave us Whitman on the wisdom of trees and which the poet himself described as “a melange of … Continue reading Walt Whitman on Beethoven and Music as the Profoundest Expression of Nature

Music is not for ears

Janis Joplin performing at The Fillmore, San Francisco, in 1968. Photo by Paul Fusco/Magnum We never just hear music. Our experience of it is saturated in cultural expectations, personal memory and the need to move by Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis is director of the music cognition lab at the University of Arkansas, a trained concert pianist, and the author of On Repeat: How Music Plays the Mind (2013). It’s easy to think about music as just a sequence of sounds – recorded and encoded in a Spotify stream, these days, but still: an acoustic phenomenon that we respond to because of how it sounds. The source … Continue reading Music is not for ears

If You Suspect You Have Psychotic Tendencies, You Probably Love the R&B Group Blackstreet

by Jeff Gross The good, the bad and the ugly things we learned about our bodies today Do you find yourself putting Blackstreet’s seminal 1996 jam “No Diggity” on every playlist you make? Do you love Eminem’s “Lose Yourself”? If so, congratulations! You might be a psychopath. That, according to Pascal Wallisch, a clinical assistant professor of psychology at New York University, who might find himself regretting releasing his preliminary study on the connection between music and psychopathy. Wallisch told the Daily News that he tested 260 highly recognizable songs and found that 30 showed promise for predicting whether someone was a total fucking … Continue reading If You Suspect You Have Psychotic Tendencies, You Probably Love the R&B Group Blackstreet

How I Taught My Computer to Write Its Own Music

ROLL OVER BEETHOVEN: A screenshot of the author’s software system, which produced oddly beautiful, inside-out, upside-down music.Photo by Kyle Yamakawa I wanted to build the ideal collaborator. Was I ever surprised. BY JOHN SUPKO  ARTWORK BY DORAZIO PIERO On a warm day in April 2013, I was sitting in a friend’s kitchen in Paris, trying to engineer serendipity. I was trying to get my computer to write music on its own. I wanted to be able to turn it on and have it spit out not just any goofy little algorithmic tune but beautiful, compelling, mysterious music; something I’d be proud … Continue reading How I Taught My Computer to Write Its Own Music