“Let’s Have Another Gan Ainm” (2018)
How hard would it be to produce a plausible album of folk music from our system, folkrnn — a machine learning model trained on thousands of Irish folk music tunes (https://github.com/IraKorshunova/folk-rnn)? We hired professional musician Daren Banarsë (http://www.darenbanarse.com) for this challenge, which resulted in the album, “Let’s Have Another Gan Ainm”. Of the 31 tunes on the album, 20 of them come from material curated by Banarsë from several volumes of tunes generated by our system (https://highnoongmt.wordpress.com/2018/01/05/volumes-1-20-of-folk-rnn-v1-transcriptions). In Gaelic, “gan ainm” means “no name”, which is how each folkrnn tune on the album is designated. We let Banarsë be free in how he used the computer-generated material — in most cases he made minor alterations, but some are more substantial (for example combining material from two generated examples into one tune). We recorded the album in January 2018 in the Visconti Studio, Kingston University, with professional musicians trained in Irish traditional music. In March 2018 we sent the album out for review to a variety of places without revealing the true nature of the material. The reviews the album received were very positive; it was not described as being unusual or uncharacteristic of this kind of folk music. One reviewer wrote, “[A] fine collection of beautifully-played tunes it is. While it includes some well-known titles such as ‘Lord Mayo’, ‘The Blackbird’ and ‘Toss The Feathers (II)’ … the unnamed jigs, reels and airs here thoroughly deserve their inclusion.” We publicly revealed the source of the album in August 2018. More information about this album can be found in our technical report: http://kth.diva-portal.org/smash/record.jsf?pid=diva2%3A1248565&dswid=7310.
“Let’s Have Another Gan Ainm” (2018) features the following musicians: Tad Sargent (bouzouki), Bryony Lemon (accordion), Grace Lemon (pipes), Daren Banarsë (melodica), Eimear McGeown (flute/whistle), Rob Webb (fiddle). This album is a deliverable of the project Sturm and Ben-Tal,“Engaging three user communities with applications and outcomes of computational music creativity” (funded by UK Arts and Humanities Research Council, grant no. AH/R004706/1), https://gtr.ukri.org/projects?ref=AH%2FR004706%2F1.