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Ben interviews the minds behind the "musical AI" of Lucy Dreams

Lucy Dreams
"Mankind is obsessed with progress, so desperate to explore the unknown that people are left starving as nature is suffocated. Lucy Dreams, an AI, has become a mirror to society, it’s algorithm was fed with the sounds of Kraftwerk, Mozart, and Pink Floyd. The result? A euphoric electronic rock soundscape with lyrics yearning to re-write society’s wrongs."

That's how the minds behind 'Lucy Dreams' describe their newest creative project, an audio-AI (Lucy) coupling analogue and digital sound effects to generate exciting sound spheres. Lucy's outpouring of sonic experiments have been harnessed by Viennese producers dp to produce a sci-fi single that you should be very excited for. We at Slow Motion Panic Masters had the chance to speak with dp to learn as much as possible about this remarkable expedition into the fascinating future of electronic music.

Lucy Dreams - The Journey (2020 Lucy Dreams)

So, please tell us how the music-making process of ‘Lucy Dreams’ works? Could you take us through how ‘The Journey’ was created? Lucy Dreams is like a hidden door for us. A door into an unknown galaxy of melodies and sounds. Music has always fascinated us, as has technological progress and a combination of these two passions has resulted in the creation of a system of effects. We have coupled digital and analogue effects and defined certain settings. We sent sounds into this system and waited for something to come back, and surprised by what was possible, we continued to play with this system and called it Lucy. The results, in the best case [of] recognizable sound patterns, are Lucy's dreams. We, dp, are currently exploring this system step by step and we put ourselves in the second row and offer the stage to the machine. Is 2020 the perfect time for music “made by” artificial intelligence? Technological progress is at a staggering pace, and has been for years. What we are experiencing at the moment will go down in history in a similar way as the invention of printing or industrialisation. Those aspects of the current progress which enrich humanity are to be appreciated. This applies to music, too. There will be new, groundbreaking forms of composition and music production. The role of the machine will be an important one. However, the essential elements of art, such as creativity and fantasy, will remain in the hands of humans and their emotions. Fortunately. Some of the guitar tones and vocal harmonies on the track were wonderfully reminiscent of Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories and ‘Instant Crush’ – who and what inspires you and your music? One half of dp is a huge Daft Punk fan, they are of course an inspiration. And so are other brilliant musicians, from classical composers to bands of today. Apart from music, literature inspires us a lot. Also visual art – we adore Serbian artist INDIGO (Indg0), for example. It is incredible how deeply moving a picture can be. Everything that touches us eventually, inevitably, and fortunately influences our music. This is the beautiful circle of art.

You’ve stated that “Lucy” was fed literature (primarily Joyce and Ishiguro.) Does classic literature have a big impact in your music and songwriting?

We are big fans of crossing and combining different disciplines, lyrics are important for us. After the first successful experiments with sounds, we tried to feed Lucy sentence fragments and as responses received what we recognised as words and phrases. The direct impact literature now has on the songs is new for us too. How does this newest single use that knowledge of literature in its lyrics? The word "journey", for example, was Lucy's creation and a response to a sentence taken from the mind-blowing last pages of Ishiguro's 'Never Let Me Go'. The crazy dynamics between the over-ambition of a few and the uncertainty of the many so beautifully described in this novel was the underlying idea for the composition of the lyrics of "The Journey". Progress and achievement must never outshine fundamental human needs and emotions. We may well be the fire and the sun, but we must not be the flame that melts us. You’ve mentioned Stanley Kubrick before as an influence, how much is your latest music video in conversation with 2001: A Space Odyssey? It is an honor to have the permission to use outstanding visuals by Californian NOT ANY DESIGN COLLECTIVE for the music video. By putting their images in the context of the song, by letting Mr. Mirandola, an overambitious space traveller, become the tragic hero and tell the story of his quest, the connection to Kubrick was a logical consequence. We admire Kubrick's works and see Mirandola's leap into a new dimension ("Where our angels fly...") as an homage to the transformation in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Finally, what more can we expect from Lucy Dreams in 2020? The positive feedback on the first releases is encouraging. The cosmos into which we launched ourselves animates us every day anew. We are working on new songs, fresh ideas are constantly emerging. For example, Lucy Dreams listeners should soon get the chance to feed Lucy. When and how new material will be released is written in the stars.


Many thanks to dp and Quick Swimmers' Karl Johnson for taking the time to participate in (and organise) this stimulating insight into the creative process behind this intriguing musical project. Listen to 'The Journey' on all major platforms on April 17th, and catch their music video as created by the exceptionally talented Not Any Design Collective on April 24th.

Find Lucy Dreams on instagram, facebook and get very excited for a brave new world of electronic imagination.


Ben Wheadon is editor and founder of Slow Motion Panic Masters. He is a Welsh musician and English Literature student at King's College, London and he should be writing a dissertation instead of creating a blog.

Thanks for reading! Slow Motion Panic Masters is a music, arts and culture blog created and edited by Ben Wheadon, a literature student and musician based in London, England.

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