Over the past 15 years, Graeme Cornies has contributed to more than 1000 episodes of television, scored documentary features on BBC and National Geographic, contributed to Triple AAA games, and more. Graeme’s latest musical project, Cabin Fever Orchestra is where a lifelong television composer is reversing the usual process.
Visually, this project is a means of exploring the forefront of AI/Human collaboration with generative art. Musically, it has been a means of exploring new musical palette ideas, expanding on orchestration ideas Graeme found while working on other visual media, and has served to expand his network of talented instrumental collaborators.
His new song, “Ever Presence” was another team-up between three very capable composer/producers and includes performances from players from all around the world. Graeme kicked off this piece by writing a basic outline, after which he passed the musical chain-letter on to Joshua Van Tassel (Great Lake Swimmers, Jill Barber, Donovan Woods) to characterize his own new section, based on warping Graeme’s initial parts with a variety of playable machines. After that the musical chain-letter was sent on to Drew Jurecka (Ron Sexsmith, Dua Lipa, Royal Wood), to add the kind of otherworldly string textures and lead lines that add interest and focus to the piece.
When the musical chain-letter returned to Graeme, there was an abundance of great material. Once he re-organized parts and incorporated everything into a final form, Graeme wrote additional parts for a string quartet, flute and French horn, which were recorded live with players from Prague, the US, the UK, and Brazil in a slew of individual sessions with each player recording in their studio from their own location. After the live performances had been captured, Graeme incorporated their parts into the mix and began the quest to visually characterize this international collaboration.
“I searched the latent space of several AI for months to find the right visual landscapes to create this video,” says Graeme. “In the end, the video evolved from a series of my visual art pieces entitled ‘The Ocean’s Dream of the Sea,’ then fed into various AI tools. The result is a tour of a fictional place, the beautiful dream of a neural network, briefly brought into existence via code, text prompts and parameters.”