Holly Herndon

Music, Dance and electronic
Holly Herndon Sydney Festival 2020 supplied
Photograph: Boris Camaca

Time Out says

This evolving AI duet is a mercurial melding of machine and music

Holly Herndon is a musician whose comfort zone is on the bleeding edge. The Berlin-based American’s ferociously pioneering brand of electro exists at the tipping point between the avant-garde and the mainstream, equally at home in a concert hall, an art gallery, or a nightclub. Despite its experimental extremes, there’s also a folky, lore-laden quality to her sound world, drawing on musical practices, vocal techniques and spiritual undertones that have been millennia in the making.

For her most recent project, Spawn, Herndon has blurred the lines between tech and art in ways that seem to come straight out of science fiction. Using a specially developed AI – Herndon describes the program as her “AI baby”, hence the project's title – this performance will use samples of the human voice, manipulated in real-time with “machine learning”. Herndon will then duet with her virtual child in an evolving, improvised performance that will be impossible to predict.


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