Have you had a chance to hear ‘new songs’ by Nirvana, Amy Winehouse, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, and few other famous names? Well, not actually them, but an artificial intelligence program that emulated the style of musicians who died at the dreaded modern music age of 27.
Over The Bridge, a Toronto organization created a compilation of such songs designated to raise awareness about the importance of mental health support. Titled Drowned In The Sun – Lost Tapes Of The 27 Club, the compilation presents the songs created by computers with the goal of drawing attention as NME puts it, “to musicians’ struggles with depression and mental health issues, as well as the support on offer to them.”
Talking about the project, Sean O’Connor, a member of the board of directors of this organization spoke to Rolling Stone. “What if all these musicians that we love had mental health support? Somehow in the music industry, [depression] is normalized and romanticized… Their music is seen as authentic suffering.”
The tracks on the compilation were made through Google’s AI program Magenta, which analyses an artist’s previous work in order to learn how to compose like them. Another AI program was then used to create the lyrics.
Over The Bridge organization works to help members of the music industry deal with mental illness, offering support through workshops, Zoom sessions, and more.