Located in Lumi Cang Hutong in Dongcheng District, Zhihua Temple is a Han Buddhist temple is the most well-preserved Ming Dynasty wooden structure in Beijing. The temple was built in the ninth year of emperor Zhengtong’s reign (1444) and has a history of more than 570 years. Its main hall features a roof made of black glazed cylindrical tiles. The jingyin music of Zhihua Temple is the only genre among China's vast repertoire of ancient music that has been passed down from generation to generation until today. The temple inherited the musical traditions from the imperial court itself in 1446, and its halls have since been continuously filled with the sounds of jingyin for over 560 years. At present, the 27th generation of musicians are preserving and performing this classic art. When juxtaposed with the ultra-modern SOHO structure across South Chaoyangmen Street, Zhihua Temple forms a strong contrast between old and new Beijing.
This atmospheric building has been one of the most sacred places for Buddhist monks to practice in China. One can easily feel the “气 Qi” - a Chinese word describing the circulating life force whose existence and properties are the basis of much Chinese philosophy. We are very inspired by this historic building especially the tranquility and spirituality of this place.
As we believe music combines mathematical rules and structures with human creativity, it would be a great starting point for an experiment in machine learning. We leverage the neural network that would ultimately compose original music.
Besides music, we also add a voice in the music using Microsoft's Singing Photo API, which has a Speech machine to read out the poem using a computer synthesised voice.