What do composers think
about AI?
You wake up. You brush your teeth, get your morning coffee. You go on Spotify to listen to some new recommendations. Except the music isn't written by Post Malone, Drake, Cardi B, not even Ariana Grande. It's written by AI.
Photo by Franck V. on Unsplash
Before, in order to become a composer, you had to learn how to play an instrument, understand history, technique, theory, master the art of recording compositions, and become an adept audio engineer. Technologies have made it easy to write a composition without ever having to learn any of those things — you can write a composition sitting on a toilet!

"I'm noticing fewer and fewer people are feeling the need to be able to play an instrument well. Maybe they think it's not that important, because now you have all kinds of software that can play riffs," says Evelyne Datl, composer for Film and Television. "You can program drums and a guitar to play loops, and you can cut and paste. Because it's new, and because it's neat, people are jumping on the software and it's cool, but if you actually stand back and live with that for a while, you might start to see that it's lacking juice."

Raised in Canada and a musician since childhood, Evelyne graduated from Royal Conservatory of Music in piano performance, and went on to study electronic music at University of Toronto electronic music lab.

Noticing a correlation between the rise of artificial intelligence and the way "humanity in general is drifting away from wanting to feel," Evelyne thinks that "we are becoming more and more dissociated, we don't know how to handle our feelings."

While the main purpose of music is to make you feel and express emotions of the characters in a film, "music is in some mediums becoming more neutral. In documentaries, you don't want to raise a lot of emotions, you want it to be neutral, so that is okay. Music can be so dissociative from what's actually happening. If you watch reality shows, the music is often pretty dissociated. It's just uptempo, wallpaper-like dance music in the background."

It seems that currently people are moving away from wanting to experience emotions, "but maybe the pendulum will swing to such a degree that we start to wake up to wanting to hear people playing live instruments again. I think the pendulum probably hasn't swung far enough for people to yearn for that yet. You might hear the difference when someone puts their heart into playing the violin as opposed to someone thinking about the laundry and playing the violin. You can feel the difference. There's that passion that I don't think AI can replace, but who knows? We will see. If we can survive climate change… but that's another story."
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