Robots have been enlisted to write songs in the style of world-renowned artists who died at the age of 27, for a new project entitled Lost Tapes of the 27 Club.
The brainchild of Toronto organisation Over the Bridge, the initiative is designed to raise support for members of the music industry currently struggling with mental illness.
One of the songs featured among the collection is a “new” Nirvana song called ‘Drowned In The Sun’, written in honour of late grunge legend Kurt Cobain. And tbh it sounds pretty damn close to the genuine article. It’s actually kinda scary.
So how did they do it?
As explained by Rolling Stone, around 30 of Nirvana’s songs were fed as MIDI files into Google’s AI program, Magenta, which then translated the “pitch and rhythm into a digital code that can be fed through a synthesizer to recreate a song”.
The new tunes were made by “examining each artist’s note choices, rhythmic quirks, and preferences for harmony in the MIDI file”.
An artificial neural network was then used to generate the fresh lyrics, and in the case of ‘Drowned in the Sun’, Cobain’s vocals were recorded by a real life human man named Eric Hogan, who fronts a Nirvana tribute band from Atlanta.
You can hear the finished product for yourself below.
Meanwhile, other late artists whose music has also been given the AI treatment include Amy Winehouse, Jim Morrison’s The Doors, and Jimi Hendrix. You can check them all out here.