Inspired by reading a study about the evolution of whale song, a musician has created a computerized concert of intelligent surround-sound “virtual” whales, who perform live with a saxophonist.
As the musician plays, the computerized marine mammals join in, adjusting their own song to what they’re “hearing.”
The artificially intelligent animals sound like they are singing and swimming around a virtual sea (the auditorium) because of the multiple speakers that surround the audience. They move between different speakers and sing to each other electronically, building new songs based on hearing each other in the ocean that’s the auditorium.
The musical composition — called Fast Travel — will have its premiere at the International Computer Music Conference on August 3rd in Huddersfield, England.
Alexis Kirke developed the idea for the piece and composed the saxophone part and whale song, collaborating with technologist Sam Freeman and marine mammal biologist Simon Ingram. The name refers to the particular songs blue whales sing when they are moving quickly.
Kirke developed the idea after learning that blue whales synchronize the pitch of their calls to each other with an extremely high level of accuracy, and a very slim margin of error from call to call, according to a new study of the blue whale population in the eastern North Pacific.
Best of all, no live whales were captured or otherwise involved in putting on this concert.
Read more at Wired.com.