Perpetual Nirvana

MassArt Foundation Fellowship - Work in progress, 2018

Perpetual Nirvana is a live composing and performing multimedia installation in which a complex computer program attempts to continuously create and play new songs in the style of the 1990s band Nirvana. The piece uses Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning systems that study and analyze large sets of data in order to create algorithms for the continuous creation of text, instrumental and vocal tracks.

The project is being developed using cloud computing and coded on Python and Google Magenta. The final program runs on Apple Mac computers operating an Ableton Live-based virtual synthesizer built on samples from the original recordings of the Nevermind (1991) album.

Perpetual Nirvana is supported by a grant from the MassArt Foundation (Boston, MA, USA).

Audio Samples

Working samples from automated sessions performed by the program and its instruments

It is worth noting that in the above sample, for previewing purposes, the transitions between riffs and song parts is very quick. In live experiments, the instruments jam  for longer periods until finally locking into a groove, attempting to sustain it, and then working on creating afollowing part, and so on.

Tentative Installation View

4 audio channels, floating screen for rear projection, custom furniture.

Possible activations and institutional events

  • Collaboration with local radio for the broadcasting of the live piece

    • Creation of a radio station broadcasting 24 hours (or during closing hours)

    • Merchandise/prints with lyrics generated by the system

    • Closing event with the release of a limited edition vinyl with selections from the exhibition


Sketchbook and Notes