Conceived by K Allado-McDowell, Song of the Ambassadors reimagines opera as a musical ritual producing scientific understanding about the effects of music on the body and mind.
It is first and foremost an opera. It is also a meditation and a neuroscience experiment. The music is by composer Derrick Skye, whose work draws from classical traditions spanning the world, and integrates advanced electronics and instrumental techniques. The libretto is a hymn to the sun, space, and life written by K Allado-McDowell using the AI language model GPT-3, performed by three vocalists representing the opera's titular ambassadors.
The neuroscience experiments are performed by a team of scientists from UCSD, who record and analyze brainwaves, heart rate and subjective feedback of subjects in the audience. An EEG cap worn by Lincoln Center's Chief Artistic Officer, Shanta Thake, will create AI-generated projections during the performance, provided by visual artist Refik Anadol, complimented by set designs from Marcos Lutyens.
TED Talk by K Allado-McDowell and excerpt performance of Song of The Ambassadors at TED2023: Possibility - Our creative relationship with AI is just beginning
The New York Times - Music, Science and Healing Intersect in an A.I. Opera
The work-in-progress “Song of the Ambassadors” got a test run at Alice Tully Hall — with Lincoln Center’s artistic director lending her brain.
An Artificial Intelligence opera comes to life for the first time.
“It’s the perfect metaphor for how experiencing live art allows us the space to respond, to tap into our own creative impulses and ultimately give us tools towards healing.”
- Shanta Thake
"The Opera was wonderful! I had a traumatic brain injury three years ago and I'm mostly recovered, but still have a few lingering effects. However, during the opera I started sobbing. Not because I felt overwhelmed emotionally, but because my brain was crying. It was something that happened in the first year of my recovery every time I went to cranial-sacaral therapy. For some reason, something about the show hit me in the same way. It was beautiful."
- Composed by Derrick Skye
- Libretto by K Allado-McDowell (with GPT-3)
- Stage Direction by Mary Birnbaum
- Projections by Refik Anadol
- Set Designs by Marcos Lutyens
- Costume Designs by Oana Botez
- Sound Design by Ian Smith
- Neuroscience Research and Studies by Ying Wu and Alexander K. Khalil (UCSD)
- Conceived by K Allado-McDowell
- Produced by KAM Studio in collaboration with Ben Newman and Lincoln Center
Tuesday, October 25, 2022 at 7PM
Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center
1941 Broadway, New York, NY 10023
A 3-5 minute survey of audience sentiments around their experience of Song of The Ambassadors.