ABOrk stands "AI-merican Bueaucracy Orchestra", and is a music video. Celeste's reflection on, "Why does AI get to do fun things like music and art, while I have to do taxes?" inspired making ABOrk. She's definitely right. The current world seems to be frantic on the technological power of AI and it is frequently experimented on art, music, and games - things that we enjoy the most. Why can't it be experimented and further applied to the things we hate doing - like doing taxes, playing whack-a-mole with car dealerships, and going to the DMV?
No AI was used in ABOrk. Most parts were crafted by hand, and some automations and pseudo-randomization were achieved by algorithms. As a student of Music and AI, I wanted to apply the AI techniques in every part during the design, but I could not find a place where it would result better than manual craft or algorithmic composition. If I were to use AI, then I would be doing it for the sake of using AI - which does not justify the use of AI.
ABOrk was made in Chunity and edited in Adobe Premiere. I used Chuck's MIDI input to both trigger the audio and the graphics in different scenes (dance scene, karaoke lyrics scene, IRS scene, DMV scene, and the blackbox scene) in a strongly timed manner. The scenes were then connected by Adobe Premiere.
I had immense fun creating ABOrk. It reminded me of the joy of designing expressions - the series of complex thoughts or concepts, presented in the audiovisual medium in a less complex way. It reassured me of what I love doing; something that I would not give up doing; something that realizes creative thoughts - potentially with or without AI.
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- I started from the idea of "American Bureaucracy Orchestra", and Ge thankfully coined the term, "ABOrk". I wanted it to play a supportive music, so I chose, "Never gonna give you up", a song I heard outside of CCRMA randomly one day.
- I wanted to construct the entire song in ChucK, so I arranged the entire song in MuseScore.
- For the song voices, I first used a TTS voice samples and changed the SndBuf rate (pitch) according to the midi file I generated. However, the pitch changes weren't quite intelligible, so I decided to record my own voice. I said every necessary syllable in the pitch of C and generated 2 second clips of each syllable.
- I obtained 2 ~ 9 drum samples for kick, snare, and hat that sound close to City Pop, and had ChucK choose a random sample every time it receives a midi event.
- I used Rhodey + ADSR for bass, and Bowed for strings.
- The last few MIDI instruments were used as triggers for events in the scene such as dance timing, instantation timings, etc.
- From Adobe Mixamo, I downloaded about 24 different kinds of dances. I changed their overdrive (playback rate) before downloading to match the bpm of the song.
- I connected the midi trigger to the characters dances so it plays a new random dance every two measures of the song.
3. IRS & DMV
- The animations were triggered via the MIDI file, so most if not all of them are timed with the music. Lots of assets, crafts, and work had been put in.
5. Black Box
- Chuck-generated "Never gonna give you up" and the actual "Never gonna give you up" crossfades (both by gain and cut-off frequency) as black boxes take over the stage.
- The camera zooms out and reveals that ABOrk is just another helpful AI, while we enjoy all the creative activities.
* Song credit: "Never gonna give you up" - Rick Astley
* Video credits
- Never gonna give you up MV: youtube
- Rebecca Fiebrink's Wekinator Demo: youtube
- Steel Vengeance POV: youtube
- Bob Ross: youtube
- "This is Computer Music" by Ge Wang: youtube
- "Experimental Creative Writing with the Vectorized Word" by Allison Parrish: youtube
- Wallace and Grommit: yotube
Professor Ge Wang and TA Yikai Li for a wonderful course on AI!
All the astounding Music 356 classmates, thanks for telling me that humanity will always be beautiful.