I’ve got two videos to share today. One of them I’m sure I’ve shared before, the other I’m certain is totally unique. As I said to someone while discussing the differences between these two videos; Music is my absolute core. Seeing someone so in love with the process of music itself is just… Stark and heart-breaking and pure. Joy.
And then there’s this second one, which is new to me. Had it handd to me this evening by someone amused by the fact of it without taking into consideration the impact this kind of thing can have on others.
The reproduction of speech as a subset of music is incredible to me. Singing comes as naturally to my voice as speech – once I’ve got a song, it takes literally years for it to even deviate from what I’ve learned, much less for me to lose it all together. Seeing this video – the mechanical construction of language from individual frequencies, at once gives me home for the field of robotics and threatens the security of my belief in music.
For the first, the idea that computers, once programmed, can learn how to develop sounds approximating speech is incredible. Interpritive communication is one of the markers of emergent sentience, after all, and this is a step toward that; a further dimension of interaction, where preset responses to audible commands fall away, and the cognition of language begins. It’s astounding.
On the other hand, the deconstruction of something I find I regard as mystical is a bit striking. Music itself – the flow and form of it, the way it evokes emotion – is a human trait. I’m aware of birds, whales, and other animals having their language regarded as song, but that’s a thing of nature. There’s harmony in music. The use of instruments normally regarded as inherently musical for the learning of language and its construction is so banal somehow, so disenchanting that I’m feeing clear cognitive dissonance just thinking about it.
My own voice is an instrument of music. I get this. It’s also an instrument of language. But the real back-end of music, the charm and dexterity required to appreciate and encompass it – I don’t regard my singing voice as the voice I use to form words and sentences. The reality of the instrument changes based on its use.
What am I supposed to think about pianos now?