Proto is the third studio album by American electronic musician Holly Herndon, and it marks a very special collaboration – with an AI program named Spawn. This fascinating project saw Herndon and co-creator Mat Dryhurst teaching Spawn how to interpret sounds, resulting in an album of “live vocal processing and timeless folk singing” that is both otherworldly and deeply moving.
Hollie Herndon is an American electronic musician, composer, and sound artist. She is known for her innovative approach to music-making, which involves the use of cutting-edge technology to create unique soundscapes. Herndon’s music is heavily influenced by her academic background in musicology and her interest in the intersection of music, art, and technology.
Herndon began working on “Proto” in 2017, collaborating with artist and programmer Jules LaPlace and AI researcher Mat Dryhurst. The album features Herndon’s own voice, which she manipulates and processes using custom software developed by LaPlace and Dryhurst. The result is a collection of tracks that range from ethereal and haunting to upbeat and danceable.
The album also features contributions from other artists, including a choir of vocalists trained on Herndon’s voice and lyrics. The choir provides a human touch to the album’s electronic soundscapes, adding a layer of emotional depth and complexity.
Thematically, “Proto” explores the relationship between technology and humanity, and the ways in which technology can both enhance and diminish our connection to the world around us. The album also delves into more personal themes, such as Herndon’s own experiences with pregnancy and motherhood.
“Proto” was met with critical acclaim upon its release, with many critics praising Herndon’s innovative approach to music-making. The album was also notable for its use of AI technology, which Herndon and her collaborators used to create the custom software that processes her voice.
Since its release, “Proto” has had a significant impact on the electronic music scene, inspiring other artists to explore the intersection of music and technology. The album is a testament to Herndon’s creativity and passion, and a reminder of the power of music to transcend boundaries and connect us to something greater than ourselves.
Hollie Herndon’s “Proto” album is a tour de force that showcases her unique approach to music-making. By fusing electronic music with cutting-edge technology and raw emotion, Herndon has created a masterpiece that challenges our assumptions about what music can be. Whether you’re a fan of electronic music or simply appreciate innovative artistry, “Proto” is an album that should not be missed.
Last modified: May 5, 2023