Lockdown Jammer: A Virtual Musical Partner for Creative Brainstorming

Lockdown Jammer is co-creative musical agent that engages in different kinds of interactive behaviors and stylistic responses. The software utilizes corpora of solo instrumental performances encoded as self-organized maps and outputs slices of the corpora as concatenated, remodelled audio sequences. Transitions between the agent’s behaviors are partially automated, and the interface enables the negotiation of these transitions through feedback buttons that signal approval, force reversions to previous behaviors, or request change. Styles of musical responses are embedded in a pre-trained latent space, emergent in the interaction, and may be influenced through the weighting of rhythmic, spectral, harmonic and melodic features. The training and run-time modules utilize the MASOM agent architecture.

Lockdown Jammer is designed to encourage creative exploration and defer cognitive deliberation. The musical response type is embedded in the latent memory space and activated through interactive behaviors ranging from highly reactive to the user’s input to largely independent. The musical direction can be influenced indirectly through weighting rhythmic, spectral, melodic and harmonic features.

Video demos

The following videos were made before the Lockdown Jammer interface was completed. It shows both tests of the interface and the MASOM backend of Lockdown Jammer. The interactive modes shadowing and coupling are working here, while the mirroring mode was not yet functioning properly.

New videos demonstrating the Lockdown Jammer interface will be posted by middle of February 2021.

Video 1: Free improv session. Even in shadowing mode, the agent’s responses can be quite diverging to the user’s input while yet maintaining a degree of coherence. In this demo, the agent’s responses are excited by input that is deliberately trying to “trick” it into difficult territory (sparse matches in the corpus).

Video 2: Demo of Lockdown Jammer in coupling mode. The slight lag in the agent’s response is due to the screen recording software and Max competing for processing power.

Video 3: Demo of Lockdown Jammer in shadowing mode.

Video 4: One of the earliest modifications of MASOM in use by Bernt Isak Wæstad (guitar, electronics) at Sentralen, Oslo – October 2020.