Yamaha Dear Glenn Project AI System Gives Concert in Style of Legendary Pianist Glenn Gould at Ars Electronica Festival
Yamaha Corporation unveiled the world's first*1 Artificial Intelligence (AI) piano system capable of playing any piece of music in the style of late legendary pianist Glenn Gould on September 7 at the Ars Electronica Festival, one of the world's largest media arts festivals, held in Linz, Austria. The AI system also gave a concert performance at the festival, and Yamaha has now announced the release of video footage from the performance. The project has been recognized as one of several efforts celebrating 150 Years of Japanese-Austrian relations.
Concert Film (released today)
Documentary Film (released on September 4)
- Yamaha develops world's first*1 AI which can play any piece of music in the style of legendary pianist Glenn Gould.
- The concert footage shows that the AI system playing songs never performed by Gould and playing together with renowned performers of today
- Discussion explored the possibilities of co-creation between AI and humans and how musical performance might be affected in the future
The concert was held at St. Florian Monastery on September 7, the third day of the Ars Electronica festival. In addition to a piano solo, the AI system performed a piano duet with Francesco Tristano and a wind trio with members of the Bruckner Orchestra Linz (violin and flute) for a performance "with contemporary artists that transcended space and time." Neither of the ensemble pieces performed were included in the machine learning data, so audience members listened with great interest to see how well the AI system could reproduce Gould's musicality without any recording data to rely on and how well it could cooperate and interact with human players while playing together in ensemble.
After the performance, the audience members who had filled the hall to capacity erupted into applause. The concert was one of the top highlights of the event's main program, "AI x Music Festival."
The AI performed Glenn Gould's masterful J.S. Bach's Goldberg Variations (BWV 988) and some pieces. These were not included in its machine learning data. The audience listened intently to see how well it would reproduce the artist's musicality.
The system also performed together with renowned contemporary pianist Francesco Tristano and members of the Bruckner Orchester Linz (violin and flute) for a performance that "transcended space and time."
Born in Toronto, Canada in 1932, Glenn Gould was a legendary pianist who passed away in 1982 at the young age of 50. Gould has received extraordinary praise and is known for his masterful performances of J.S. Bach's music, beginning with his debut album Bach: The Goldberg Variations, which was released in 1956. In 1964, Gould announced the end of his concert career and began to concentrate on recording, devoting himself to digital media releases. Gould was also known for his unconventional and unique performance habits, which included sitting on a low chair and leaning over the piano keyboard, as well as humming while playing, even during recordings. In his later years, Gould recorded three albums, including Bach: The Goldberg Variations, on a Yamaha concert piano.
The Ars Electronica Festival is a festival that centers on the latest in art, technology, and science and is held by Ars Electronica, a media art research institute based in Linz, Austria. First held in 1979, the festival has since become one of the largest media art events in the world. During the festival, experts gather from around the world at exhibitions, performances, events, and international conferences in venues around Linz to engage in discussion and foster new connections.