Russian neural network releases mini-album – creepy, but ear-catching

Getty Images
A neural network built by Russian Internet company Yandex, in collaboration with live musicians, recorded a horror movie symphony, a song for teenagers, and a soundtrack for the movie Blade Runner.

The album, titled Non-Human Music, features input from alternative indie group Komsomolsk, composer Kuzma Bodrov, and techno DJ Nikita Zabelin.

The neural network first created 25 melodic lines based on the works of Johann Sebastian Bach, Alfred Schnittke, and Sergei Rachmaninoff. Next, the musicians selected the melodies they liked most and reworked them.

Kuzma Bodrov, together with the Novaya Rossiya (New Russia) orchestra and renowned conductor Yuri Bashmet, wrote the symphonic work “Digital Sunrise”; Nikita Zabelin created the ambient track “Neurobirth Modular,” and the group Komsomolsk wrote lyrics to the melody that turned into the song “We’re Looking for the Person.”

The song begins with the following words:

“Houses are lit up, reflected on the bare breast of the asphalt

I rise on tiptoe

To better glimpse through the misted windows

Where the person is hiding today.

Maybe he is stuck between the window panes and is beating,

buzzing like a May fly.

Maybe, agitated by the rain,

he crawled onto the sidewalk

And, like a worm, was crushed by a blind old woman.

Maybe, like the mail, he was dumped on the couch.

Maybe he is four years old and climbed onto his father’s shoulders.

Or maybe he’s just dead drunk,

Lived horribly and burned up like a match...

We’re looking for the person

We’re looking for the person.”

The developers’ task was not to teach the neural network to compose “beautiful” music, since no such formula exists or can be created, according to Alexander Krainov, head of the Yandex machine intelligence lab.

He says that the neural network was conceived as an aide for composers, not to create independently.

The company also released a video about how the neural network composes music.

It is in fact the Yandex neural network's second album. In 2016, the algorithm wrote song lyrics in the style of Egor Letov, founder of the Russian rock band Grazhdanskaya Oborona (Civil Defense).

If using any of Russia Beyond's content, partly or in full, always provide an active hyperlink to the original material.

We've got more than 2 million followers on Facebook. Join them!
Read more

This website uses cookies. Click here to find out more.

Accept cookies