Some time ago, a start-up called AIVA Technologies appeared. A quite bold project, an algorithm, which set out to make ‘artificial’ music basing on the databases of public domain classical compositions, which measure up to tens of thousands of pieces.

Would it still be culture and not just consumption like any other?

Aiva processes that data and, when given required parameters, can produce a track that meets these requirements in a couple of minutes. It even made an album (called Genesis) and its music was played at 2019’s Digital Spring. The possibilities of this system seem countless.

If it affects or how it affects gaming industry remains a question. A monthly 40£ can net you copyrights to the tracks downloaded from AIVA, which seems awfully cheap for very precise music you can use in a videogame. Question is, how would it affect our perception of what we call ‘art’. Can we still call it that if it’s measured without any sort of expression involved?

I’d say no, and the last time someone made music for purely utilitarian purposes with no expression in mind and only scientifically measured effect, is Muzak, so music initially made for conveyor belt workers in 20s.

Would it still be culture and not just consumption like any other?

Although, it’s not the question what music does and who was it made by, but what we think of its position in our culture. What would it say about us, creatures deeply rooted in music and vice versa, if we made it into an expression-free process? Would it still be culture and not just consumption like any other?

Executive Editor

Jan Szafraniec

Fasicinated by everything that is noisy, minimal and industrial. He spends most of the time writing and floating around in ambient. He's been loyally professing videogame music for a decade and won't ever stop.