Performance: Rational Numbers: Music and AI

 

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Performance: Rational Numbers: Music and AI

 

Rational Numbers: Music and AI, featuring Yuka C. Honda and Angélica Negrón

Artificial Intelligence software can compose symphonies at the push of a button, but this fact has overshadowed its significant but largely untapped potential as a tool to support human composers—without dominating the creative process—in their search for new means of artistic expression. With algorithms capable of assuming complete control of the creative process, the questions of how much control to cede to these technologies, and the nature of that control, have become fundamental to determining the current and future value of Artificial Intelligence in a creative context.

For this groundbreaking concert event, two highly accomplished composers and multi-instrumentalists will use AI-based software to compose, adapt and perform new music, incorporating these AI tools into their creative processes for the first time. The music will reflect the composers’ artistic visions, but also the ways in which they do or do not choose to trust the software to help carry out their wishes.


Yuka C. Honda is a Japanese composer/musician and producer residing in New York City. She is best known for the band she co-founded in 1994, Cibo Matto, for which she composed, programmed and performed the audio architecture along with producing 2 of their 3 albums. She has also produced recordings by Sean Lennon, Martha Wainwright and Yoko Ono, and has released three solo albums on John Zorn’s Tzadik imprint.  She has recorded and performed with a wide range of musicians including Yoko Ono, Nels Cline, Esperanza Spalding, John Zorn, Marc Ribot, Arto Lindsay, Laurie Anderson, Sean Lennon, Yoshimio, Kimbra, Thomas Bartlett, and Trixie Whitley. Honda’s new multimedia opera, No Revenge Necessary, explores the relationship between humans and Artificial Intelligence technology.

Angélica Negrón is a composer and multi-instrumentalist from San Juan, Puerto Rico, based in Brooklyn, New York. Interested in creating intricate yet simple narratives that evoke intangible moments in time, she writes music for accordions, toys and electronics as well as chamber ensembles and orchestras. Her music has been described as “wistfully idiosyncratic and contemplative” (WQXR/Q2) and “mesmerizing and affecting” (Feast of Music) while The New York Times noted her “capacity to surprise” and her “quirky approach to scoring”.  She was selected by Q2 and NPR listeners as part of “The Mix: 100 Composers Under 40” and by Paste Magazine as one of the 20 most innovative musicians working today. Angélica has been commissioned by the Albany Symphony, Bang on a Can All-Stars, A Far Cry, MATA Festival, loadbang, The Playground Ensemble and the American Composers Orchestra, among others. Her music has been performed by TRANSIT Ensemble, Choral Chameleon, janus trio, Cadillac Moon Ensemble, Cantori NY, Face the Music, Iktus Percussion Quartet, ETHEL, NYU Symphony Orchestra, Montpelier Chamber Orchestra, the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra and others, at venues including the Kennedy Center, the Ecstatic Music Festival, EMPAC, Bang on a Can Marathon and the 2016 New York Philharmonic Biennial. She is the composer in residence for the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra for their 2018-2019 season.

Co-presented with Music Community Lab, a volunteer-run not-for-profit based in New York City. Over the past six years they have organized over 60 events supporting music research, experimentation, education and creation by bringing communities together to foster collaboration, productivity and the exchange of ideas.