Clarice Assad



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“The Evolution of AI” is a contemporary musical composition that delves into the intricate interplay between human artistry and artificial intelligence. The piece invites the listener on a journey that explores and questions the boundaries of creativity and the profound implications of human and Artificial intelligence collaboration. The work is for a chamber orchestra, electronics, and a human performer acting as a hybrid human AI machine inside a musical experiment. It is not the machine’s first time around, though. The first movement, titled Reboot, hints at the idea that this hybrid being has existed before. The Evolution of AI is in four movements, without interruption. 

The Journey: 

i. Reboot: The journey begins with the machine’s awakening, a process of rebooting its electronic consciousness. This movement serves as the inception of our narrative, embodying the raw energy and unpredictability of a technological rebirth. The second part of the piece is called Data Collection:  As the machine-human hybrid comes to life, it engages in a unique and dynamic dialogue with the chamber orchestra. Gestures and interactions between the performer and the orchestra capture the initial data assimilation, reflecting the intriguing moment when technology and human expression merge. The next phase is called Machine Learning, and marks assimilating vast musical knowledge from the Western Music repertoire. The machine-human hybrid absorbs, interprets, and adapts traditional and contemporary compositions, all while integrating its newfound wisdom into an evolving musical landscape. In the final movement, “Creation,” the stage is set for an intriguing finale. As the AI hybrid machine extends its astonishing ability to compose in real-time, it ventures into uncharted territory, producing music with unprecedented speed. Yet, an unexpected twist looms on the horizon. With every note played, the machine’s energy depletes, and its survival hangs in the balance. Whether the machine’s creative brilliance will culminate in triumphant innovation or a bittersweet enigma awaits the uncertainty of the machine’s ultimate fate. As the music crescendos and the machine’s energy dwindles, the final moments remain a compelling enigma, echoing the unstable and evolving relationship between humanity and artificial intelligence.

For Chamber Orchestra & Performer on electronic devices

Commissioned by Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra as part of the Sandbox Residency. 

Co-commissioned by American Composers Orchestra, Chicago Sinfonietta, and ROCO. 

Premiered January 12, 2024, by the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and Clarice Assad.

Many musical quotations exist in The Evolution of AI’s Movement iii “Machine Learning. It begins with two compositions by unknown composers: Seikilos Epitaph, one of the oldest melodies in Egypt, and the famous medieval theme Dies Irae, highly associated with the Catholic Church. Cited composers include Pérotin, Beatriz de Dia, Josquin Des Prez, Claudio Monteverdi, Johan Pachelbel, Johan Sebastian Bach, Vivaldi, Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Ravel, among other hidden gems.  

AI comes to music, and through Clarice Assad, to the SPCO

By  | 

Clarice Assad performs her work ‘The Evolution of AI’ with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra

By Rob Hubbard | Special to the Star Tribune

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