Clarice Assad



Sandbox Residency

About Sandbox

A new initiative for engaging composers and community in the creation of new music.

The 2022.23 season will bring the launch of the SPCO’s Sandbox Composer Residency program — a new initiative for engaging composers and community in the creation of new music. Over the next several seasons, three composers will participate in innovative and intensive multi-week residencies with the SPCO, in a program designed to foster a spirit of shared discovery and the creation of a significant body of new music. Viet Cuong, Clarice Assad and Gabriela Lena Frank have been selected to work with SPCO musicians as the inaugural Sandbox composers.

My Project:
The Evolution of AI

I’m excited to have the opportunity to work with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and write a new work exploring one of our time’s most fascinating and challenging subjects: Artificial Intelligence. The development of AI and it’s rapidly changing pace is already transforming human roles in society. Significant disruptions are about to reach us in various fields. It is essential to question these developments shaping our world for years to come, whether through robots, machine learning, or other means. in the piece, I will  use electronic musical instruments and wearables as well as AI software to generate ideas rather than come up with them on my own.  Stay Tuned.

– Clarice Assad.

The Evolution of AI

i. reboot \ ii. data collection \ iii. machine learning \
iv. integration

The contemporary musical piece “The Evolution of AI” explores the relationship between human artistry and artificial intelligence. The four-movement work follows the journey of a human-AI hybrid being as it reboots, collects data, learns, and creates music. The first movement, “Reboot,” represents the awakening of the machine. In “Data Collection” engages in a dynamic dialogue with the orchestra, merging technology and human expression. “Machine Learning” has the hybrid absorbing and adapting Western compositions. Finally, “Creation” sees the machine compose in real-time, venturing into uncharted territory before it experiences an unexpected glitch, leaving its fate uncertain. The piece questions the boundaries of creativity and the implications of human-AI collaboration through the metaphor of the evolving machine.



The Evolution of AI’s Movement iii “Machine Learning” contains many musical quotations, recognizable melodies and more hidden fragments. It opens with two compositions by unknown composers:


  • The Seikilos Epitaph, one of the oldest surviving complete melodies, was composed in the 1st or 2nd century AD.
  • The medieval chant Dies Irae (“Day of Wrath”), part of the Catholic Requiem Mass, emerged in the early 13th century.

It also features works by renowned composers like Pérotin, Beatriz de Dia, Josquin des Prez, Claudio Monteverdi, and Johann Pachelbel. Excerpts from major composers include Johann Sebastian Bach, Antonio Vivaldi, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, and Maurice Ravel. The pieces with more recognizable melodic patterns and rhythms are more or less fully on display, as they are in the public domain.


Additionally, hidden within the dense textures are fragments of other compositions – some as brief as a measure, a chord, a cadence, or a fleeting melody. These act as musical Easter eggs for listeners to discover amidst noise and activity. The amalgamation of exposed and concealed quotations aims to create a rich tapestry honoring various eras of music.



Resources, Gear and More

Scroll Down for resources


The following IG videos are demonstrations of gear I experimented with to create this piece. Not all have made into the Final Cut, but they are still fun to watch.

Percussion Suit

Wave Midi Ring (By Genki)

Dubler USB Microphone

Robert Hüttl is the maker of this suit. It includes ten dynamic pads. It is a wired suit (which is difficult for specific performance scenarios), but it is highly responsive, and because it is midi, it can trigger a great variety of sounds. Sadly the suit did not make it into the piece. 



The Genki wave ring is a dream for any music performer looking to add a dramatic flair to their act. It frees the person from controlling sounds on a keyboard or another midi-controlling device.  




AFrame (continued)

This is a unique microphone. It is essentially a midi controller, but one that uses the voice as the input, which is wild.  There is a lot of potential here and many tricks to learn.  The company is called DUBLER.   I chose not to go with the Dubler for this piece because I will already be using the TC Helicon and the Genki ring.  

AFrame Last Demo



Coming Soon