Residentie Musical Machines

During Impakt Festival François Pachet and his colleague Marco Marchini traveled from the Sony Computer Science Laboratory in Paris to Utrecht for  their program about musical machines. Wineke van Muiswinkel made a radio documentary about the program discussing the question if machines, since they can make music, can also like music? You can listen to the documentary below.

Musical machines
On 30 October Pachet, head of the Music Research Team of the Sony Computer Science Laboratory, gave a lecture about his research on the interaction between humans and technologies when it comes to musical listening, composition and performance. Since its creation, the team developed several award winning technologies and systems. In his lecture Pachet discussed the question if machines can develop any form of musicality. Mario Marchini gave a live demonstration of several prototypes of musical technologies. Pachet and Marchini incorporated the theme of the Impakt Festival into their program.

With the title Soft Machines, Impakt Festival (29 Oct. – 2 Nov.) questioned the growing influence of modern technologies. Can machines one day become more intelligent than human beings? Will robots be capable of recognizing emotions and even produce them? Do technologies follow their hardware or do they have a heart? The festival addressed the current debate about advancing technologies. Robots for instance take over a lot of our work. Drones play an essential role when it comes to modern war techniques. But can machines completely take over the work of human beings? Do they for example understand what emotions are and how they can adjust their behavior to express emotions?

Sony Computer Science Laboratory
François Pachet is the head of the Sony Computer Science Laboratory. He explains what he does as follows: “I am director of SONY Computer Science Laboratory Paris, and lead the music research team. The music team conducts research on interactive music listening, composition and performance. Since its creation, the team developed several award winning technologies (constraint-based spatialization, intelligent music scheduling using metadata) and systems (MusicSpace, PathBuilder, Continuator for interactive music improvisation, etc.).”

About his ambitions he says: “My recent goal is to create a new generation of authoring tools able to boost individual creativity. These tools, called Flow Machines, abstract “style” from concrete corpora (text, music, etc.), and turn it into a malleable substance that acts as a texture. Applications range from music composition to text or drawing generation and probably much more.”