Documenting the Coming Singularity

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Mozart, step aside! Cyber Composer is in da house!

Miller-McCune - 2.22.10 (by Ryan Blitstein)

David Cope’s software creates beautiful, original music. Why are people so angry about that?

UC Santa Cruz emeritus professor David Cope is ready to introduce computer software that creates original, modern music. (Catherine Karnow).

The office looks like the aftermath of a surrealistic earthquake, as if David Cope’s brain has spewed out decades of memories all over the carpet, the door, the walls, even the ceiling. Books and papers, music scores and magazines are all strewn about in ragged piles. A semi-functional Apple Power Mac 7500 (discontinued April 1, 1996) sits in the corner, its lemon-lime monitor buzzing. Drawings filled with concepts for a never-constructed musical-radio-space telescope dominate half of one wall. Russian dolls and an exercise bike, not to mention random pieces from homemade board games, peek out from the intellectual rubble. Above, something like 200 sets of wind chimes from around the world hang, ringing oddly congruent melodies.

And in the center, the old University of California, Santa Cruz, emeritus professor reclines in his desk chair, black socks pulled up over his pants cuffs, a thin mustache and thick beard lending him the look of an Amish grandfather.

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