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78. The Human Touch

Updated: Jul 4, 2023

It's been almost 3 months since my last post because I've been devoting as much time as possible to composing Breathing Space which is now complete. It evolved into a 54 page score for flute, alto sax, viola, cello and piano lasting about 16 minutes. I'm very happy to say that it is scheduled for a first reading on July 20th. The first stage was to write out the bones of the piece. The next stage was to bring it to life, which brings me to the AI controversy.

With all the efforts being made to incorporate AI into music, the simple truth is that AI can never bring music to life because it has no life, no heart, no breath and no spirit. What AI brings to the table is a music facsimile based on a massive amount of data samples which amount to nothing more than hearsay on a massive scale. But music requires life, and life is not an algorithm no matter how many million, billion, trillion data samples have been collected and categorized.

I'm surprised and disappointed that so many people and organizations involved in music want to jump on the AI bandwagon when the fact is that AI can never bring a piece of music to life because it has no life experience. It has never experienced the heights and depths of joy and sorrow and everything in between.

Why is no one stating the obvious? I suspect that profit at the expense of ethics and an emphasis on quantity over quality are the short-sighted motives behind the AI feeding frenzy. Igor Stravinsky once said that the most important quality of a music performance was spirit. So let's leave music to the humans. That's an idea which deserves plenty of breathing space.

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