The Sydney Opera House comes alive like never before through an uncanny symbiosis of machine learning and human creativity, as the sounds and the data from the building itself are dramatically recomposed for an unforgettable 50th-anniversary digital artwork. Audiences will be able to access the work online via the Stream platform 24/7 across October and for three special nights from 6 – 8 October, Music of the Sails will also be available to experience in person, for free, in an intimate purpose-built venue in the Western Foyer.
Watch the livestream on Stream from 1 - 31 October.
Visit the installation onsite from 6 - 8 October.
The installation will be in the Tours Digital Immersive Experience located in the Western Foyer. No registration is required.
View a map of the Western Foyer here.
Installation is open for 3 hours. You are welcome to come and go at any time.
Find out more about accessibility at Sydney Opera House
The Sydney Opera House becomes the star
As we celebrate our 50th year, we’re dreaming about the future, and thinking about the ways in which technology will impact creativity and performance. In Music of the Sails, we flip the relationship between the building and the art that inhabits its walls. What if the House itself could stand in the spotlight on stage? What would it sound like? What would it sing to us?
Music of the Sails is an ambitious digital artwork that reimagines the sounds of the world-famous building in a unique audio-visual soundscape running for 744 hours across the entire month of October.
A generative, audio-visual artwork made from data, artificial intelligence and field recordings, including the sounds of the Concert Hall’s grand organ, Music of the Sails augments the sonic secrets of the building in a way that we’ve never heard before.
The ground-breaking project is a creative collaboration between the Opera House, the University of New South Wales' Interactive Media Lab and music technologists Uncanny Valley. It is a captivating fusion of architecture and generative music techniques with cutting-edge uses of generative and artificial intelligence methods to reveal the Opera House as a living and dynamic work of art in action.
Audiences will be able to access the work online via the Stream platform 24/7 across October and for three special nights from 6 – 8 October, Music of the Sails will also be available to experience in person, for free, in an intimate purpose-built venue in the Western Foyer. Members from the project team involved in creating the work will be on hand to answer questions about the project and the future possibilities of technology and creativity.
About the artists
Interactive Media Lab, University of New South Wales
The Interactive Media Lab at UNSW’s School of Art & Design researches and teaches emerging media technologies and their application in creative work.
Uncanny Valley’s focus is one part musical craft, and the other sonic technology. Armed with decades of experience, they harness their diverse musical expertise and collaborate with artists and brands to create their unique sound. They utilise emerging technologies and engage audiences to tell musical stories via all mediums.
Meet the team
Oliver Bown is an academic interested in understanding artistic and musical creativity using digital technology, and its relation to society.
He has worked in the field of Computational Creativity — the study of the automation of creative tasks — since 2007, seeing massive transformations in technological capability leading up to the current explosion in AI art and music. During this time he has worked in academic research in creative coding practice, making his own music improvising systems, a technologist, developing creative tools for artists, as an electronic music producer and improviser, as a media artist, and as a theorist and researcher of creative practice and trends. His book “Beyond the Creative Species: Making machines that make music and art” (MIT Press 2021) surveys the impacts AI is having on creative culture, and is available as a free open access EPUB.
Charlton Hill has decades of experience in the music, television, advertising and technology industries in an array of creative roles including major recording artist, published songwriter and actor to innovative strategist and music technology entrepreneur.
Co-founding music and technology company Uncanny Valley (UV) in 2010 with music producer/sonic technologist Justin Shave, Charlton has strived to bring authenticity and collaborative craft to projects that continually help to define the rapidly changing music industry. Working with artists, publishers, record labels, TV networks and brands, Charlton has prolifically provided a catalyst to fuse traditional storytelling with progressive music technologies.
Stephen Krol is a musician and PhD student at SensiLab, Monash University Melbourne. With industry experience in deep learning and computer vision, his PhD aims to understand how latent-based, deep generative systems can aid in musical composition through variation generation.
Chloe McFadden is an artist and PhD candidate based in Sydney on Gadigal land. Primarily making generative art and interactive installations that utilize machine learning systems, her work critically engages with society's growing faith in predictive technologies. Through her art, she aims to disrupt this reliance and sensitizes audiences to the increasingly ubiquitous ways we are co-constructing our futures alongside machine systems.
She graduated with first-class honours and received the university medal from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in 2021. Her PhD research is particularly focused on exploring the role that artists can play in examining, uncovering, and disrupting how our faith in predictive algorithms manifest, and its impact within society and culture.
Beyond her academic and artistic pursuits, McFadden serves as the Media Coordinator for Arc UNSW, where she facilitates student publications and volunteer programs.
Rodolfo Ocampo is a PhD student in human-AI creative collaboration at UNSW, exploring how humans and machines can be creative partners.
Rodolfo extensive work in the field of generative artificial intelligence has involved both artistic installations that employ AI as a new creative medium, practical AI enabled tools that support human creative work and consulting on responsible and effective adoption of AI.
Previous to his PhD, Rodolfo obtained a scholarship to participate in a pilot masters program of at the 3Ai Institue at ANU, focusing on responsible deployment of AI-enabled systems. Previously, he worked at Google in Mexico City, where is originally from.
Rodolfo has also worked at the CSIRO developing AI systems to assist First Nations Rangers in environmental conservation efforts. His work has appeared in outlets such as the ABC, The Guardian, The Conversation and the Australian Financial Review.
For over two decades, Caroline Pegram has worked as a producer for award winning companies and celebrated media personalities, with a specialisation in science communications. Most notable is her 20 years as producer with Dr Karl Kruszelnicki.
Always leading with curiosity, she ventured into the world of Artificial Intelligence in 2017, when she joined Uncanny Valley as their Innovation & Strategy Director, expanding their technology arm to form both commercial and academic global partnerships. Together they have forged a path between cutting edge technologies and music, using artificial intelligence and machine learning to augment creativity and explore new uses.
In 2020 she was part of the team that won the very first global AI Song Contest, using frontier tech to create a Eurovision song. In 2022, Caroline collaborated with the School of Cybernetics to co-curate Australian Cybernetic: a point through time - an exhibition focussing on the development of computing, technology and creativity across industries from 1968 - 2022.
Caroline holds a Visiting Fellowship at UNSW and was a finalist in the Women in AIA Awards in 2022.
In 2023, Caroline joined the team at SXSW Sydney as the Head of Tech and Innovation in the inaugural year and became a Cybernetic Imagination Resident at the ANU’s School of Cybernetics.
Justin Shave is one of Australia's preeminent music producers and musical directors who works simultaneously across the record and screen music industries. With a string of platinum records and APRA Awards to his name, Shave has crafted the sonic essence for many of the world's top artists and distinguished brands. As a classically trained pianist, screen composer, and computer scientist, Shave's multifaceted expertise uniquely positions him at the nexus of traditional artistry and technological innovation.
Fuelled by his strong interest in creative computation, Shave's vision extends beyond traditional music production. In 2020, Shave played a pivotal role in the team that won the inaugural Eurovision AI Song Contest. An advocate for intertwining music with technology, Justin has liaised with industry leaders like Native Instruments and Fairlight Instruments as a consultant and synthesiser designer. Shave's pursuit of sonic evolution is evident in the creation of his groundbreaking generative music system, MEMU. This innovation has been instrumental in artist-driven music generation and showcased in several installation pieces.
At the helm of Uncanny Valley (UV), a pioneering Sydney/LA music collective, Shave's distinct flair has attracted collaborations with industry giants such as Paramount+, BBC, ABC, and Google and the production of countless news and sports themes. His deep-rooted proficiency in EDM production led to his role as musical director for the past five years for the Ministry of Sound Orchestrated Tour. This expertise has also facilitated collaborations with notable artists such as Sia, Darren Hayes, and The Potbelleez.
Felix Wallis is a screen composer working out of Church St Studios, Sydney. He has arranged strings for releases by The Kid LAROI and Cap Carter. As a screen composer, he has scored short films, advertisements and TV shows.
Felix holds a composition honours degree (first class, 2021) from the Sydney Conservatorium, where he studied with one of Australia’s most prominent composers, Carl Vine. His contemporary classical portfolio includes works for piano, strings and big band.
In 2022 he started working with Uncanny Valley. 2023 saw the launch of his single First Rites and recording of his works for solo piano and piano quintet. Teaming up with Suika Studios, he also scored a music-driven spot for Salomon Sneakers, 'Find Your Rhythm'.
Brendan Wright is an applied artificial intelligence researcher, using machine learning to model complex dynamic systems. His interdisciplinary research sits at the intersection of physics and applied machine learning, with an emphasis on enhancing the scientific investigation, analysis, and monitoring of photovoltaic technologies.
He completed his doctorate at the University of Wollongong, with a specialisation in excited-state physics, and currently holds a postdoctoral research position at the University of New South Wales, focusing on developing modelling techniques to study the complex physical dynamics of defect mechanisms in photovoltaic systems.
In addition to his academic research career, he has pursued professional work as a data scientist within the finance technology industry, developing expertise in data engineering and machine learning technologies.
With his ongoing passion for artificial intelligence, data engineering, and sound production, he continues to apply new research into generative time-series models towards the development of generative music technologies.
Frequently asked questions
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