Picture: Photo Credit: Ensemble KNM Berlin & Adi Gelbart live by Yoel Culiner
Picture: Photo Credit: Ensemble KNM Berlin & Adi Gelbart live by Yoel Culiner

Poems by Alpha – Adi Gelbart & Ensemble KNM at Berghain / Wednesday, 12.6.2024

The multimedia artist and programmer Adi Gelbart fuses post-punk and contemporary music, borrowing elements of jazz, film music, musique concrète, rock music and weird synthesizer sounds.

Musically inspired by Ravel, Debussy, Bartok, Ligeti and John Cage, and with plenty of humor, Gelbart explores essential questions: How can creativity be defined when humans and machines are already inextricably intertwined? To what extent can and should computers and humans create something together? What if computers themselves take the lead?

In a concert for strings, speech synthesis and electronics, Gelbart and Ensemble KNM Berlin interpret poems by »Alpha« – a computer designed to write ‘bad’ poetry that deliberately sounds absurd and bizarre, as if it had been thought up by a computer.

With these poems as a starting point, Gelbart composed music for a string quartet. He thus transformed the computer output back into something organic – music made and played by people. In the live performance, the contrast between the cold computer voice and electronic sound sources on the one hand and the string quartet on the other is brought to full effect. In concert, the sensitive and multi-layered music of the string quartet bridges the gap between the computerized artist and the human performers.

What the artist playfully anticipated in the field of artificial intelligence can now be seen as a reaction to AI creativity. In other words, it is a way of giving the middle finger to AI-generated art, which, according to Gelbart, has nothing to do with human creativity and even threatens to rob people of their creativity. He sees danger in the takeover of creative work by so-called AI that could eventually spell the end of the world as we know it.

The work takes place within the three-part series »reading music – the season 2024«, in which Ensemble KNM Berlin is dedicated to the relationship between music and (written) language. Since its foundation in 1988, the ensemble KNM Berlin has presented programs across the world that reflect a curiosity to explore the unknown and the willingness to confront the most pressing themes of our times.

Poems by Alpha – Adi Gelbart & Ensemble KNM Berlin – within reading music – the season

Wednesday, 12.6.2024 | Doors 20:00 | Starts 21:00 CET
Berghain | Wriezener Bahnhof in 10243 Berlin
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reading music – the season is a project by Ensemble KNM Berlin in cooperation with Casa del Lago UNAM, Berghain Ostgut GmbH, Radialsystem and FAHRBEREITSCHAFT. Funded by the Capital Cultural Fund (HKF).
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