'Faced with the choice between making an accessible song with quite a few human interventions, or experimenting with as much AI as possible and then delivering a worse-sounding song, we chose the latter'.

Team New Piano

Country: Switzerland
Song: Painful Words
Team members: Krzysztof Ciesielski and Basil Philipp

On the internet: blogpost

as little humanity as possible

This team of two data scientists submitted their contribution with a firm disclaimer: 'Faced with the choice between making an accessible song with quite a few human interventions, or experimenting with as much AI as possible and then delivering a worse-sounding song, we chose the latter'. They saw the AI Song Contest as a challenge to discover what kind of music you get with as much AI and as little human being as possible.

‘Dreaming of a world where AI can help tell better stories.’

Not surprising, given the two gentlemen’s background. Ciesielski is a data scientist and although he is a music lover, with his participation in the AI Song Contest he takes the first steps in making music. Ciesielski’s preference is for melancholic music, and he warned us that we shouldn't necessarily expect a cheerful, danceable song. Basil Philip dreams of a world where AI can help tell better stories, and he's already made that dream partially come true: his website, gaga.lol, reuses GIFs to animate sentences.

technical skills

The pair produced the words by training a GPT-2 system with a dataset of 1,562 Eurovision song lyrics, and used lyrics-conditioned neural melody generation technology to make the words fit the music. They employed a Mellotron synthesizer for the vocal parts, recording the texts, interpreting them with a synthesizer voice, and then adding the computer-generated melody. The song was edited using the Audacity program.

Because New Piano’s skills are mainly technical rather than musical, they sought help from online libraries. They also did a lot of experimenting with all kinds of open-source programs and pretrained models.

The two emphasize that the most important thing was to have fun in creating their AI Song Contest entry, and hope that this is apparent in the end result.

lyrics of 'Painful Words'

It pains me to say... you made my life so much more. 
What an impossible dream.
I can't imagine what will happen. So many people that I know.
All I could ever imagine. To be like you. 
What am I all wrong?

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Oh... what am I all wrong?. What am I all wrong? 
Oh... what am I all wrong? So many people that I know. All I can ever imagine. To be like you. 
What am I all wrong? Oh... what am I all wrong?

All I can ever imagine (All I can imagine). To be like you.
What am I all wrong? Oh... what am I all wrong? So many people that I know.
All I can ever imagine. To be like you. 
What am I all wrong? Ah... what am I all wrong?. So many people that I know. All I can ever imagine. To be like you.

I could stay or go. I could go any time I wanted. I could always get away. I could get out of my head. I could never ever stop thinking. I could feel the time is right. I could feel the heart is still blue. The love that I think I need. It makes me sad. I could feel the time is right. I could feel the heart is still blue. The love that I think I need. It makes me sad. A million stars, a million days. I can only pray that someday. I can go any time I want. I can always get away. I could never ever stop thinking. I could feel the time is right. I could feel the heart is still blue. The love that I think I need. It makes me sad. I could feel the time is right. I could feel the heart is still blue. The love that I think I need. It makes me sad. Oh my heart beat and shakes. It's like a million angels. That I pray to keep. Oh my heart is beating with love and hope. It's like a million angels.

That I pray to keep. Oh my heart beats and shakes. It's like a million angels.
That I pray to keep. Oh my heart beats and shakes. It's like a million angels.
That I pray to keep. It's that very same feeling. That the stars really are blue.

I feel what I need. The gravity is real. I knew we were nothing. All that we could be. But I knew all that we could be. But I knew we couldn't make anything else go away. It feels so good to see you. I can't help but smile, I gotta see how that is. And I know that.