There Are Other Worlds They Have Not Told You Of. They Wish To Speak to You - Felix Römer

A generative radio play by Felix Römer, improvised in real-time by two human and two artificial performers.

Presented by: Felix Römer

There Are Other Worlds They Have Not Told You Of. They Wish To Speak to You.“ (named after a quotation by jazz-musician Sun Ra) is a generative radio play, reimagining the traditional radio play format through the lens of contemporary AI capabilities. In celebration of a century of radio, it can be seen as a homage to the 1920’s avant-garde spirit of experimentation and technological curiosity.

The play will be improvised in real time by four performers listening and reacting to each other: two musicians (one human and one machine) and two voice actors (likewise one human and one machine). Utilizing a mixture of classification and generative algorithms, the artificial performers are capable of (a) listening to and analyzing their human counterparts and (b) generating music / speech accordingly.

At the heart of this are IRCAM's tools <RAVE> and <prior>. Their particular aesthetics are being used in a way that seeks to challenge narrative conventions by blurring the distinction between speech and music. Drawing inspiration from avant-garde pioneers like Kurt Schwitters, „There Are Other Worlds…“ unfolds as a cacophony of nonsensical syllables, reminiscent of linguistic experimentation in the early 20th century: rather than exploring any explicit, describable content, the piece is focusing on the sonic qualities of words and phrases. What is language capable and incapable of communicating when any semantic content is stripped away? In order to come with their own answers to this question, listeners will be left with nothing more than an eerie „language-ness“: pure linguistic sounds and their emotional implications.

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