This AI pianist performed an 'unplayable' piano piece and it's terrifying
26 February 2021, 17:17
Black midi music was unplayable. Until now. Watch human(ish) hands scale the piano keyboard with a mind-bending ferocity that would leave even Rachmaninov quaking in his boots.
Be afraid. Be very afraid.
In this video, we see developer of the software, Massive Technologies, ask their AI piano player to play ‘Black MIDI’ music, which is music in MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) computer files containing huge numbers of notes packed together.
And the music (noise?) created from the AI’s little virtual hands on the keys is something to behold.
AI Attempts to Play Black MIDI on Piano
Okay – here’s what’s going on.
The AI here has been programmed to hear music, learn it and play it back with these very life-like hands you see.
It’s only when you ask the AI to do what’s otherwise impossible, that it says “challenge accepted” and gives us the baseline traumatising performance we’ve just seen.
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Black MIDI music was inspired by dense scores developed by avant-garde composer Conlon Nancarrow. In around 1947, when he was at his wits end with performers who seemingly couldn’t keep up with his complex rhythmic notation, he started notating absolutely impossibly complex piano rolls, for player pianos to interpret his maddeningly brilliant music.
Created by Canadian-based Massive Technologies, who specialise in music tech, this AI pianist was crafted as a learning tool – basically, a virtual piano teacher that could help students learn by seeing.