The Irish News: Music composed and recorded during lockdown to be preserved by British Library. “People who composed and recorded music during lockdown are being given the opportunity to have their songs preserved in the British Library. BBC Radio 5 Live said it has been inundated with tracks from musicians ‘of all standards’ from across the UK. The station is giving listeners the chance to have the music they created behind closed doors to be stored forever in the Sound Archive of the library.”
UChicago News: Drawn from music: Art exhibition opens window into composers’ creative process. “For composers, drawing a ‘map’ of music can give shape to a new work and articulate its overarching ideas. As evocations of the composer’s intentions—from sweeping curves to stars, birds and brightly-colored dots—such maps capture the ebbs and flows within a musical piece and complement musical scores, serving as guides for performers. MAPS OF FORM, a new exhibition at the University of Chicago’s Logan Center for the Arts, presents a collection of these musical illustrations as works of art in their own right.”
Classic FM: Genius Google tool turns your tuneless humming into a lovely violin solo. “Using your phone or desktop, you can transform any unpolished melody into a violin, saxophone, flute or trumpet solo. And when we say unpolished melody, we literally mean any noise. Honestly, anything.”
Engadget: Google Magenta’s Lo-Fi Player is an AI-based virtual music studio. “Lo-Fi Player, a new project out of Google Magenta, wants to help people play around with music creation — no experience necessary. Lo-Fi Player is a pixelated, 2D virtual room that runs in a web browser. It lets you mix lo-fi hip hop tracks by clicking on different objects in the room, and it uses machine learning to give the tracks a little finesse.”
University of Missouri-Kansas City: UMKC Libraries “Shining a Light” on underrepresented composers. “With UMKC Libraries’ new online exhibit, ‘Shining a Light,’ you can now discover many 21st century composers from historically underrepresented groups…. ‘Shining a Light’ allows people to listen to a variety of scores and learn more about the composers who come from marginalized communities.” There are over 70 composers here (with the possibility of more coming) with extensive bios and in many cases links to compositions.
Hongkiat: 30 Free Online Photos, Videos & Music Editors. “We tend to rely heavily on our favorite desktop applications like Photoshop, GIMP, Audacity, Adobe Premier and so on when it comes to dealing with multimedia files. That’s fine on our desktops but what if we need to use an editor on a friend’s computer or a public one at the workplace? That is where web applications come in handy.” Decent annotation.
The Verge: You can now make sick beats in Microsoft Excel. “Late last year, electronic musician and YouTuber Dylan Tallchief made a functional drum machine in Microsoft Excel after a bunch of Excel DAW memes made their way around social media. Now, Tallchief is back with an even more ambitious project that fully realizes the original meme’s potential: an Excel DAW he calls xlStudio. (For those outside the audio world, DAW stands for ‘digital audio workstation’ and is a software suite like Ableton or FL Studio used for making music.)”
Ubergizmo: Björk And Microsoft Use AI To Create Music That Adapts To Changes In The Sky. “We’ve seen AI used for all kinds of things, ranging from automation and to even helping doctors detect diseases and illnesses they might have otherwise missed. Now it looks like AI could soon be applied to music, thanks to a collaboration between musician Björk and Microsoft, where they are using AI to adapt Björk’s music to the ever-changing skies.”
National Post: First artificial intelligence Google Doodle features Bach. “Google is celebrating composer Johann Sebastian Bach with its first artificial intelligence-powered Doodle. Thursday’s animated Google Doodle shows the composer playing an organ in celebration of his March 21, 1685, birthday under the old Julian calendar. It encourages users to compose their own two-measure melody.” I tried it and it was fun ( https://g.co/doodle/7jphxv ) but the AI part took longer than I expected.
Techradar: AI-powered music generator Ecrett builds complex compositions for your videos. “Ecrett Music is a new tool that uses AI to generate unique compositions for videos. Upload your video, choose a scene category (such as ‘travel’, ‘relaxing’ or ‘fashion’) and a mood, and the app will generate a bespoke soundtrack.” I tried it. The generated music feels generic, but not offensively so — it sounds like music you’d have in the background of a video.