Maybe you’ve seen it before, whether in person or on video:
The members of the orchestra complete their tuning session. Silence fills the concert hall. A few moments later, the orchestra conductor strolls onto the stage to something ranging from polite and uproarious applause. The members of the orchestra, from the violins to the woodwinds to the cymbal guy in the back, stand in reverence. The conductor, baton in hand, bows knowingly to the audience. She turns to the orchestra. She waits for the applause to die down and for every last musician to get situated. The baton rises. It drops once more, with purpose. The silence is filled with beautiful, transcendent music…
With just an internet connection and a webcam, Semi-Conductor lets you take a turn conducting an orchestra!
Here’s how Google itself describes the experience:
Semi-Conductor is an experiment that lets you conduct your own orchestra through your browser. You can move your arms to change the tempo, volume, and instrumentation of a piece of music. It uses PoseNet, a machine learning library that works in the browser, to map out your movements through your webcam. An algorithm plays along to the score as you conduct, using hundreds of tiny audio files from live recorded instruments.
Are you going to spend hours and hours playing around with this “A.I. Experiment” from Google? Probably not.
Is it nevertheless something you should try out? Yes!
Right now, the only piece of music available to conduct is Eine Kleine Nachtmusik—A Little Night Music—by none other than Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. There may only be one piece of music at your disposal, but the number of variations you can introduce to the piece is infinite!
In addition, if you’re a budding computer science guru, you can even download the code and build your own musical masterpiece.