Zhihua Temple

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.

Artist Notes

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.

Ash Koosha and AI+

Ash Koosha is an Iranian born British multi-instrumentalist composer, record producer, film director and technologist.  Koosha has released number of electronic albums since 2015 after a few years of working as sound designer and composer for films. His skills in foley art and experiments with sound science led him to creating his 'nano-composing' methodology, using microtones and recorded sound to compose music.

His albums 'GUUD', 'I AKA I' and 'AKTUAL' have been received positively worldwide. In 2015 Koosha pioneered the world's first virtual reality album concept and a holographic live performance at ICA London. Working with TheWaveVR he performed his new album AKTUAL for a US audience in a virtual venue in 2017.

Koosha has produced and collaborated with artists and musicians such as Bjork collaborator 'Tanya Tagaq'. He is currently working on the implementation of artificial intelligence in musical pieces via virtual personalities.

AI+ is an electronic music group. The members of the group have been making and performing electronic music for many years. Currently, we are developing a project to leverage two AI (artificial intelligence) tech leaders: IBM and Microsoft with their cutting edge AI technologies to compose, arrange, write lyrics for, and sing the song, which will then be performed by a human group using classic vintage synthesizers - this is where machine and human crossover and digital and analog crossover.

Members: Dr. Alan Ip, Ray Kong, Yanlo Chow


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Ash Koosha and AI+

New World