1) To stimulate the creative in you...
We believe that there is a creative in everyone. This inner creative, your brain, is the greatest creative instrument of all. It is organic. It is what decodes all of what you see, read and hear and brings it alive for you.
Generative Music is in essence music generated by chance. You can personalise how it sounds to a greater or lesser degree, but it is what it is. To bring it alive requires your subconscious brain to see patterns and relationships that are not actually there. You brain in effect becomes an active listener and composer; it fills in the gaps. So why is that important?
Over many millions of years the brain has evolved to interpret what happens in the world around us. Its job is to keep us alive so it pays very close attention to what is going on, whether we are consciously aware of it or not. It’s very good at discerning both patterns and randomness. It has to do that very fast, too. That’s because when a pattern is detected the brain must decide on how to interpret it, often with great urgency.
Monitoring of important patterns e.g. "Is the lion still coming my way", "is it likely it wants to eat me" etc is of course done at the highest level.
Anything deemed to be random can generally be subconsciously monitored. That’s because there is likely not much you can do about it and there will always be more pressing things to be concerned with.
One of the reasons the sound of rain drops on the roof or the burbling of a stream is relaxing is because you know it is safe to subconsciously monitor it.
Generative music can be like that bubbling stream. Your brain knows it is inherently random so it monitors it subsconsciously. However, your brain is also a pattern matching machine so it does a bit of overtime. It finds relationships between notes and sounds and constructs its own narrative around them. This is one of the ways we stimulate the creative in you.
Generative music can also include patterns. These patterns can repeat or even mutate. They can be user entered or generated at random. They can provide a kind of quasi-framework or skeleton for the rest of the notes to form around. One of the fun things our Wotja app allows is the use of text to generate seed patterns; we call this text-to-music. Anyone can be creative with text. Although the resulting melody is still created by computer you are directly keying it or imbuing it with a personal connection. It becomes reflective music. You can personalise your Wotja mix with an image, too, but that is more akin to adding an album cover.
Finally, the act of customising or even designing a generative composition is very much a creative act. A generative system like Wotja is a kind of multi-layered musical instrument. It can autogenerate mixes from templates so you do not need to be a musician to create something with it. Wotja rewards curiousity, however, and exploring deeper can be both frustrating and exhilarating in equal measure. The more you work at it the more you learn. The more you learn the more skillful you get at both controlling it and learning how to let go. A customised generative composition is truly a unique and creative work.
2) Not to replace musicians or creatives...
We are of course here referring to the use of "Artificial Intelligence" to compose music.
Human composed music is created with set of rules, approaches, conventions. It has intrinsic meaning to at least one human being, the composer. A listener relies on that connection. They know the style and feel of the music therefore comes from somewhere, it has a soul, it has meaning. That connection gives power to the shared key that can often unlock emotions in them. It is a two way relationship in that the composer needs affirmation and feedback that the key works.
There are many who are interested in using "Artificial Intelligence" to compose music. They would wish to be able to compose passable music "in the style of". We have no intention of taking the fork in the road to pursue Artificial Intelligence to create music "in the style of". If you are looking for something to do that you will need to look elsewhere. We are sticking to approaches that in effect allow music to created by chance.
NB: It is true we use "AI techniques", but they are not "Intelligent" in that they don’t learn. We only use them to help constrain randomly generated music and make it sound and feel natural. Remember, too, that designing the best generative music requires great skill.