Canadian-born, US-based guitarist/improviser/composer/lecturer and computer programming whiz, Taylor Brook, performs with a new “improvising colleague” in his self-described “music for human improviser with computer improviser.” He designed audio-corpus-based AI computer software which listened, analyzed and then improvised music to Brook’s preceding new music guitar improvisations.
Brook tuned his solo electric guitar in a different just intonation tuning on each of the ten tracks. My skepticism vanished immediately as the slow reflective Track 1 E opens with held-note guitar string ringing being matched by the subsequent computer colours which develop into more dissonant intervals alternating with occasional guitar strums. Quiet, calming breaks, contrasting atonalities and surprising dynamic “duo” swells lead to a guitar and computer-generated blended final fade.
Track 4 F#’s longer, faster guitar melody opening “inspires” ringing computer high tones matching the guitar’s lines which gradually unite to build musical tension. Attention grabbing guitar strums and repeated notes with computer echo ideas in the lower pitched intense Track 5 A+51 which are expanded with cymbal-like computer ringing in Track 6 Interlude.
Track 8 G# is a welcome gentler contrast to the other tracks, as Brook’s virtuosic opening guitar playing is answered by high computer single notes and chordal rings. More guitar fun in Track 9 A as computer plucks match the real guitar ones!
As a free improviser myself, I am amazed at Brook’s fantastic creation of a computer program to interact with his live guitar improvisations. Looking forward to future duets expanding on these contemporary sounds.