Transcription: 0334 - Alex Braga

Released: July 19, 2020

Darwin: Okay today, I get a chance to talk to somebody that's new to me, but whose work I'm finding really exciting. I've gotten a chance to do a little bit of a review of the work and it's, and I'll be sharing it with you as well. His name's Alex Braga and he's working on a project that he calls A-Mint which is kind of a real time accompaniment software, or maybe co-composer software. It uses AI in depth and I've watched some of the videos of him working with it. It looks like it builds in conjunction with your work, with all the tools that we're comfortable working with. So I'm really excited to learn more about this project. So with no further to do let's talk to Alex. Hey Alex, how's it going?

Alex Braga: I'm doing great. Thank you for having me and thank you for showing interest in my work, because I always get very excited when I can talk about the work I'm doing - so here we are.

Darwin: Sure. Here we are. Well, I can imagine there's some excitement if for no other reason than, my God, the work you're doing is pretty significant. I mean, you are in a way you're embracing a lot of modern stuff. So you're embracing electronic music. You're in place embracing AI technology and real time work, live performance work, all this stuff. You're wedging it all together into this A-Mint system. And I think it's pretty spectacular, from a surface look at it. Why don't you tell me a little bit about how you think of it, and what are the basic building blocks that make the A-Mint system?

Alex: Yes, of course, very pleased to do it. I just released an EP that it's called Spleen Machine with K7. I must say 7K!, which is the sub-label of more edgy music of K7. And this EP is a very important document about my research on this new instrument. I call it an instrument that is called a A-Mint because my work and research on AI brought me to face a new way, for me, of composing music and achieving multimedia art. A-Mint, in a short synopsis, is an AI that enables the artist to reach augmented self-state, because it's not a composing tool, as you were saying, it's not an accompaniment tool; it's a tool to enhance yourself, to enhance your capabilities and to enhance your creativity in real time.

That's what makes it really, really, really exciting. And that's why we called it A-Mint because it's like, you know, it's like dropping a mint and swallowing the whole new world of the possibilities that they can open to you. But it's also artificial music intelligence because that's not a hide behind a finger - everything moves from artificial intelligence. All my philosophical premises of my work are based on all the debate on artificial intelligence. I'm a nerdy guy, as you must by now have guessed, and I've always worked with technology and technology has always enabled me to reach a higher state of capabilities and of possibilities and territories that I couldn't have ever reached before. So maybe we will speak later about the background, but this is what it's all about for me - A-Mint is just this amazing new instrument that, as you play, it lets you explore (in real time) all your different augmented self that could do other choices and other options on what you're playing. And the beauty of it is that it does it in real time.

It does it with absolutely no pre-feeding or pre-learning. So it's completely pure. It's completely free of any kind of constraints, which most AI self-composing systems use. And so I must say it has worked really beautifully for me and for the people that I've worked with me and like Robert Lippok and Francesco Tristano, which are the two masters of my AP, and aiming to enable us to reach this kind of augmented sound. That's why I call it augmented music because actually it is augmented - because I start playing from a very simple tune, a very simple, pure phrase, and A-Mint lets me augment this up to an infinite complexity; is just up to me to choose the level of complexity of sound, or raise an arrangement that I want to reach in that way.

Darwin: Right on. Well, one of the things that right off the bat seems difficult is actually even naming it, right? Because it does seem, in the world of music and music technology, there are so many things that have tried to be automatic music helpers. There have been automatic arrangers that are just like very simplistic chord generators. There are other things that attempt to use, patterns and pattern recognition and some of that stuff, but none of these things, or so many of the names that you might be able to use, have already been co-opted and used for something else. Although this idea of augmented work is really interesting. When I watched some of your video, one of the things I'm really curious about here is you said that this works without pre-seeding. And I'm wondering how that actually works, because there were things I saw in your performance videos where it's sort of like active right from the very first note.

Alex: Yes, actually it takes 100 notes because that's what we designed the code to listen to the first 100 notes and then start to augment your style. But actually what happens is that from note 101, it keeps training on yourself. So it never leaves the pace. So if you stop, she stops. If you accelerate, she accelerates. If you change suddenly the pitch, the scale, the harmony, it suddenly changes with you creating very amazing clusters. It's like having a, not even a second skin, because it's like a huge armor on yourself that can help you go out on stage or sit down in the studio or just sit with yourself and just flow and explore literally worlds in a second, in a split real time second. You know, you were talking about automatic music generators and automatic pattern generators. I am really against that kind of approach, nowadays, because I find it really, out of context with all due respect.

Darwin: I agree. Yeah,

Alex: The problem is that I was looking for something and for an instrument that was able to our augment yourself, not to create a standard that it's going to work the same for me and the same for you. Like, you know, all the AI's that are prefab with 10,000 hours of modes, or if I use it, I will end up with the same piece of shit that you will end up if you use it. And that is what kills art, what kills technology and what kills the debate about human beings and technology and the bond that I see between these two elements. I am a digital humanist. I am part of this brand new movement. I'm actually one of the few of a new digital humanism in music using technology and specifically artificial intelligence in this specific way, strictly going against the other approach, because the other approach, it's not an holistic approach and it can not be interesting for nothing. It's a sterile exercise that will eventually end up scaring society about the use of technology. And we'll go deeper into the philosophical things later. And when we are done with the nerdy stuff, it's a pleasure to speak with you because we can, I feel that we can go deep into all the knobs. And so I'm getting excited.

Darwin: Well, this is great because, again, I love my audience - because they will follow me to every nerdy corner that I can run into. So, I really enjoy it and I really want to dive into this more because it is pretty fascinating to me. And you're right: we need to learn more. The other thing though, I want to bring up is that at least the implication in, in the literature I read is that not only does this provide sort of like augmentation in music generation, but you also have a way to pipe that information into creating visual work as well, right?

Alex: Yes. I've always - I'm a musician. I've studied music when I was a kid. And so that's my background, but I can't see nowadays a show that is not a multimedia show. To me, every time I jump on stage, I am worried about setting up an entire show. And to me a show - it's a 360 degree show that implies music, feelings and images, all bound together. And the beauty of A-Mint is that we've found a way to also to pipe this information into another AI that is taking the media signals created by A-Mint and it's creating beautiful images with it. And, I must say, that's the part that we are developing more and more because it's the heavier part in terms of code, in terms of research, in terms of money to be spending in doing research. But, and when I say we, I need to, and I want to, credit the two geniuses that did the big part of the work, because I work with two professors of the university ROMATRE: professor [Francesco] Riganti and professor [Antonino] Laudani. And, you know, I created a team with them and ever since, we're doing beautiful stuff, and I'm very blessed to be able to work with such geniuses.

Darwin: That's really cool. It's really great to have that kind of support to be able to work off of and build with.

Alex: I'm not a coder, so I am an artist. So my very specific vertical skill is to have visions, and I need to translate these visions into something. Otherwise you end up being a loony or a visionary. I mean, that's the risk, you know? If you've got a lot of stuff in your head or in your soul or in your heart, and you can dig it out, you end up with a lot of frustration first, and then nobody listens to you because it's just visions that can maybe get you...

Darwin: Yeah. People want to see a practical application of it, right?

Alex: Yeah. You know, there's somebody that says that language is one of the greatest misleading thing of our society. And I sometimes agree, it's very hard to explain with our language that is really limited, whatever you have in your heart, whatever you have in your mind. So, having the tools to put it out in such a complete way in terms of music and images makes it way, way easier to express yourself, or it works for me. Right?

Darwin: Sure. That makes a lot of sense. So I'm curious, you've dropped a lot of interesting concept bombs in our conversation already. Your interest in AI, your work as an artist. And again, when I did a little research on you, I saw that you have quite a background in music creation and music production. I'm curious how you got to be where you are today. I mean, you mentioned before when we were getting ready, about having a long history in radio and stuff like that, I'm curious about your background: first of all, how you got into music and audio and that kind of stuff, you know, what in your youth brought you there? And then, what are the things that, as you got older, I always find that with people, often will have similar stories in their youth, but then there'll be like some avenue that they take when they're older, that all of a sudden them into like loving Xenakis or loving dance music or loving something else.

And I'm curious, what are the things that drove you into loving AI and the concepts of that, but also loving dance, music production? And what are the things that took you down those avenues?

Alex: You know what, I've always been pretty focused. I must say, even when I was a little kid and what I wanted really badly when I was 10, 11 or 12 was a personal computer. And I was born in 1976. So by 1986, 1987, the personal computer was the big thing to have. And my parents were not very geeky or contemporary parents. So we didn't even have a VCR at home. So imagine me asking my parents to buy me a Commodore computer. They said "Hell no, what are you going to do with that? You're gonna go crazy playing video games, and you're gonna become a nerd!", which I proudly became. And so that genius of my mom told me, "Okay, let's cut a deal because, I see you want the computer so badly, but I want to do something good for yourself that you, you do this, you learn to play a musical instrument and you learn to play well. And when you're done with that, I will buy you a computer."

So I said, "Okay, Fuck! What's the easiest instrument? I pick guitar, give me a guitar." And I started going very deeply into that. I signed up at the conservatory. I studied two years of classical guitar, and I fell in love with music, and I fell in love with the instrument. And then my mom said, "Yeah, we had a deal. You did it. You showed the very intense behavior. And so I'm going to buy you a computer." And I didn't want to drop music. So I started mixing the two things and I started getting into technology. And, when I was leaving after a few years, I went to live with my friends to do study in college, and all my friends had their own computer, and they were playing Minefield and stuff like that - all the video games, or, cards and stuff like that.

And I would spend all my nights - it was the time of Cubase, I think the first releases of Cubase, I guess, back then. And so I was just playing my guitar and staying there with the computer, doing all the experiments, recording and stuff like that. And then I was very lucky. I went to the United States when I was 17, because I asked my family to send me there, to do an exchange student there. So I went there to live with a family and, that completely changed my perspective in terms of opening my mind. And, American schools are really good - at least in giving a musical education. So I could, go there. And since compared to our European system, the American school system is really, really super easy.

So I would go there and I would have all A's in every class without studying. So I could take jazz band, I could take guitar class, I could just play my guitar basically every day, all day. And that was the really big glue to my bond with music and technology. And then I just started to get deeper into that. When I got back from the States, I got the call from the local MTV, which was called Video Music in Italy, because they were looking for someone very good with music and English so they could do interviews with bands. And to me, it sounded like a dream. I was 19. So I say, "Okay, I'm coming." And they took me right away. So all of a sudden I became like a VJ writing my own shows and hosting my own shows.

And, you know, it was the easiest way for me to make a living with music because becoming a professional musician seemed too far away from my reach. And that was very, very appealing at the moment. And then I fell into it and I bumped into the radio. I fell in love with the radio as well, and I stayed 18 years in the radio. And that's why probably I have this very deep bond with multimedia show because I've done a lot of video. I worked a lot with video. I've done a lot of television, which is shit. I mean, there's nothing in TV that's art, but it teaches you how to present yourself in a way that you can get the best out of the experience. And so that was really, really intense as a school for me.

And I always kept playing through all my years in radio and TV, but I didn't want to take the risk to live it all and be a professional musician, but then the things started going really well also in music and in conceptual art, I started doing performances and some of these performances and adopting museums. There was one that was very, very important for me because I wrote a Sonata for cello and my car, and my car is an old Fiat 500, a yellow, a 1973 Fiat 500, and this Sonata ended up in the Museum of Contemporary and Modern Art in Italy. So it was super beautiful for me. And I said to myself, well, maybe I should leave the shitty world of TV. And, you know, it's really not what I want in life.

I am a musician; when you're born a musician and you're born a nerd, there's nothing like being on stage, tweaking your things and playing your music. And, you know, here I am, and then I was blessed to arrive in Berlin and meet K7. And it is my family now. And Horst Weidenm├╝ller, which is the boss, he fell in love for all the things I do. And, I met Carlos Berrios at !7K, which is the one that built up the whole project of Spleen Machine that put me in contact with Robert Lippok, with Francesco Nadella. So a lot of luck, a lot of karma things that when you do things, then things go in a chain and lead you.

Darwin: Yeah. I always think of that as like "The Guiding Hand": all of a sudden you can feel yourself being like swept in a direction. And it's beautiful when you find yourself in a position to be able to go with that. That's really quite a story. And it's interesting that you have these kind of trip points that really generated a lot of like focused activity, right? So when you got a chance, your mom puts you in this position and says, "Hey, learn an instrument and we'll get a computer." I mean, that trains you into having a focus point. You come to the US as an exchange student, and you find that the way that the educational system is, it gives you a chance to focus on some performance with the guitar. You know, you come back and you have the opportunity to start to do this radio work and to do these interviews. And all of a sudden, again, it's a focus on learning about the world of media interacting in the world of media. It seems like, circumstances have often put you in a really interesting place.

Alex: Yes, I am. I'm a clever monkey.

Darwin: Okay. Well, I won't say that, but if you want to, that's cool. But what I'm wondering is what is the set of circumstances that put you on the trail of artificial intelligence? That ended up basically saying, "Okay, I'm a musician. I have these skills. I like playing. I like working. I like writing. I like doing composition work, but I want to fulfill myself more by utilizing artificial intelligence." What is it that drove you in that direction?

Alex: Well, it was a very clever monkey thing at first, because I was looking for a new performance. Performances, to me, need to speak about the future and the vision of the future, starting from a contemporary debate, otherwise nobody would give a shit. Right? So in my field of research is that music, art and concepts and technology and sustainability. So I always dig in that deep waters. I always swim in it. And I bumped into a lot of articles about artificial intelligence and how bad artificial intelligence was perceived by a lot of important journalists that were, to me, misleading completely the audience by saying that artificial intelligence could have a lead. It would have led humanity into slavery by 2033. This was the article that really pissed me off. There was a journalist, I don't remember his name, but it was giving the specific year by two. But, you know, by 2033, we all be enslaved to artificial intelligence. And I said, "What the fuck?" A bit of optimism in life...

Darwin: Let's have some of that. Right? Oh my God.

Alex: So I said, no, to me, this is not the point. And I need to find a way to demonstrate this on stage, because I want to make a statement. And my statement was not only [that] this is a misleading argument, but probably the only way to reach a sustainable future is that if we, as humans, start to embrace technology in a good way, full of mindfulness, and we take artificial intelligence and we use it to lead us into a sustainable future. So how do I do this? I don't know. I think I said, "Okay, what if I can code an artificial intelligence that can decode my style in real time and augmented myself and helps me produce, in real time, a kind of art that it's never been seen, a kind of music that has never been heard, the kind of sound that it's new?"

I've always played a lot of music and I always felt in a big, huge, and locked golden cage because electronic music forces you to work with grids, with BPMs, with patterns, with stems, with tracks - not to talk about DJs because they play tracks. So that there, what can you do in terms of performance? You just sell it, right? You're completely handcuffed. And coming from a very physical background, the guitar is a physical instrument. I've always felt really frustrated with this. And then I said to myself: if I can take this code and turn it into an instrument that can free me from this cage and can put me on stage completely free to do whatever the fuck I want. And this thing follows me and enhances me and augments what I'm doing, and gives me a super, beautiful, infinate array of arrangements as I play, and visuals as well.

I think it's a pretty good statement that if we use technology in a good way, technology is not killing humanity. Technology is not killing art and artists, but technology can lead us somewhere else, which for me is the future. That is why I will fight every drop of my sweat against the projects of technology and art that tends to substitute the artists and make the artificial intelligence compose instead of the artists, because that is the real bullshit. That is the real misleading argument that can be taken by factual journalists and turn it into an argument of saying: if even art is being defeated by technology, then you, humanity, are completely fucked because society sees the artist as the last avant-garde and sign posts of what it means to use your soul, to use your heart, and to use your creativity and your connection with a metaphysical world.

If we show them that this can be trashed by a machine, it or showing them that we are fucked, except, you know what we are not - because the machine can never, ever, ever compose nothing. It can imitate in a very beautiful way, but it will never, never know why I write a C and then an E-flat, and then a G. And those three notes in a row to me means a fear for death. Joy, love a night of sex, sweat loss, or the infinite site of a landscape, how much she knows nothing about this, nothing about the meaning of life and creation in terms of creating art is putting yourself and putting your meaning the meaning of your life inside these three notes. And if you write these three notes, it will mean a whole world. If a machine writes these three notes, it means nothing.

That's why a machine that composes Allah Mosers can produce a perfectly arranged harmony. That means shit because Moser to spend his whole life, he fucking died writing these three notes, right? A machine will never die. A machine will never have fear of nothing will never, feel joy. So we need to be the center. And that's why I built A-Mint strongly around this concept. And that's why I fight every day for this concept, because I think this is the truth. And the other way around is misleading people. And we already live in a pretty fucked up times at the moment. So we don't need no more bullshit going around.

Darwin: Right. Well, this is really interesting though, because you do point out that one of the things that just cannot be captured by machine learning or artificial intelligence is the experience that leads us to do what we do. That's irreducible. We cannot basically say, well, all of our whole life span of experience that can be boiled down to 42 bits or something.

Alex: Yeah. You are focused on the exact point. It's when Duchamp did Fountain, which is a...

Darwin: A urinal, right...

Alex: That's a super beautiful mindblowing, key milestone of contemporary art, but it's a fucking urinal. If you don't put the meaning to meaning it's something that you pee in, you put the meaning of the whole life of Duchamp. It becomes that masterpiece of contemporary art - and the machine will always see that thing...

Darwin: As a urinal, right?

Alex: Yeah. There was no other way around.

Darwin: So with A-Mint, how do you make it so that you've built a system? So you're actually, to me, treading a very fine line. So some people like building technology systems that are almost like training wheels on a bicycle, right? They'll build up technologies that make it so that the can't fall too far on one side, or they can't fall. They can, when they perform, they can make a nice performance, right? Other people are focused on artificial intelligence and music where it is attempts to compose things. And boy, nothing gives me a headache more than listening to some of the artificial intelligence compositions that have been done. It's been pretty rough, right?

Alex: I've already expressed myself on that.

Darwin: Yes, but you're, you're finding a place in the middle. You're not just building yourself safety bumpers, and you're not building a composition system. You're building this augmented mechanism. What are the things that represent success in that realm? What is it that, this thing, how is it that it can augment you that satisfying for you? And it still gives you the opportunity to be expressive and human?

Alex: It's like drugs, psychedelic drugs - sometimes you have a bad trip, and sometimes you have a good trip that you have to end. And there's been a lot of research, from a lot of scientific people, on why this happens is that you have, when you take some kind of trip, you have to be prepared. You have to be in peace with yourself. You have to be very self conscious. You have to use your life with mindfulness. And so you will have the chance to augment yourself and your perception, all the rest, of the drag drug abuse is going to lead you down to a deep cave where nothing good comes out. So excuse me for the brutal metaphor, but understood. But it's exactly the same.

How do you measure the success of a bond with you and A-Mint? Well, you sit down behind your piano and you start playing and you see what happens. If, what comes out gives you your emotion plus infinity, and you feel a huge void that comes up and feels yourself, it means that you're doing good things. If nothing comes out, it means that you're not doing things. It's a lot like composing. I mean, everybody that has experienced the composing few lines of a thing - how do you measure success? Well, if you're a pop artist, you measure success [by] if you sell records or not, if people stops you in the street to snap a selfie or not. If you do the kind of music that we like, the measurement is that you are making something remarkable first, that it's remarkable for yourself fulfilling for yourself.

And that makes you feel good. And with a A-Mint, it makes you feel good plus good, good, good, and good. You time it with all the brains that you have with A-Mint. So that's how I measure my level of satisfying. There is a very bizarre thing that happened to me. When I came out with A-Mint - a A-Mint is the software - there're software houses that produce a musical software, and, and they were very, very interested in, in A-Mint. And so, with one specific software house, we did a lot of meetings and tests and showcases and stuff like that. And, the last diagnosis was it's super cool. It's super futuristic, but people want simple things. So people want to press one button and have things to go the safe way, exactly what you were saying.

I'm going to need the exact opposite direction, because otherwise they would have built the piano with just three keys and not 88. So aiming to me, it's a very powerful tool. And we started teaching it. It's the first artificial intelligence that it's being taught in classical conservatories. We started a partnership with Santa Cecilia, which is one of the oldest academies and conservatories in Europe, and then the Royal Conservatory in Brussels, the University Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. And I'm very proud of this, and I'm very proud of these conservatory directors. They wanted me to go there and teach it along the cello, lyrical singing and all these things, because it is to me and to them, a new instrument, and instruments are fucking complex. There's no safe way around instruments, otherwise you don't even approach it. So the way A-Mint is built, it's very complex. And it's a tool that it's made to bring you from very simple thoughts and emotion to an infinity of complexity that doesn't mean that it has to be complex to use. It's not very complex to use, but it's the concept that must be complex.

Because life goes around the line between pureness of simplicity and the beauty of complexity. That's where life is, right? It can't be a straight line of simplicity. Otherwise it becomes a flat line of nothing, and it can't be a flat line of complexity. Otherwise it becomes a fucking mess.

Darwin: A blur. That is really interesting, but it also makes me wonder then - I love what you're saying, but it also makes me wonder how it is, or how difficult it is, to spin people up. First of all, if I just wanted to try and play with A-Mint, is there a way for me to even get it, or is it just like something that lives on your computer?

Alex: I can send it to you! Yes. Technically, it used to be a standalone software, a very hardcore interface. And then we were having a more practical use - I use Ableton Live in my performances. So we designed a VST 3 plugin for Ableton. Now it works inside Ableton. So yeah, if you want to try it, I will send it.

Darwin: That sounds amazing. So, understanding how it actually interfaces with the gear I already have now - that now that makes a bit of sense, but also then to one of the real difficulties then is figuring out a way to mesh it with the musical world that we inhabit. And one of the things that I found really fascinating was the fact that, on your website, you have several videos of performances that you did - not solo on stage working your augmented stuff, but actually working with other musicians. That blew my mind because that's one of the things... So often when people talk about machine learning or artificial intelligence based musical tools, it's sort of like, "Okay, you're in your mom's basement, let's help you make cool tracks." And all of a sudden I'm seeing you're using this thing (A-Mint) in conjunction with other performers in a way that looks musicianly - that's not a word, but you know, it's musicianful, right?

Alex: I'm loving what you're saying, because you got one of the other super key points of A-Mint. And the very first performance I did with a A-Mint, it was not with me, but I was controlling and orchestrating everything. But the player was Danilo Rea, which is one of the most amazing jazz improviser in the world. He used to play with Chet Baker. So we're talking about a serious guy, a guy that has never rehearsed once in his life. And we couldn't even do sound check because it was saying, "No, everything works well. Let's not do sound check because we will spoil the fun of the show!" So that's to say that we never ever rehearsed. So we would jump on stage with all the crowd in front of us, not knowing what the fuck was going to happen, and he would start play. And I would start following him and orchestrating everything in real time, audio and visuals. And we would create these huge waves of performances that left people completely mind blown. And then I started playing with Francesco Tristano, which is another super beautiful, amazing...

Darwin: Those performances were gorgeous.

Alex: ...and Danilo Rea and Niklas Paschburg as well. And so the very cool thing is that a A-Mint can also be an instant link for acoustic and electronic music, to go up on stage together with no preparation at all, not knowing nothing about grids patterns, harmonies, nothing - like the old school jam sessions: "Fuck, let's go and play and whatever happens happens!" And these you can do with A-Mint. I do it with myself because I am the piano player and I'm always also the orchestrator, but you can use it to create this bond. And to me, it's super beautiful to be able to fill the gap of acoustic and electronic in real time with a seamless flow, like A-Mint. So I'm glad you pointed out because it's another super important argument and statement for me.

Darwin: Well, unfortunately we've used up more than our time, but before I let you go, I would like to know a little bit more about where you're going with this. So you've already developed it enough so that you're able to take it on stage. You're performing with other people you're performing in some pretty big shows - and on some pretty on some pretty significant stages. What are the next developments that you're doing and how are you refining the idea to make it even more important to you?

Alex: Well, there's different lines at the moment. I must say, we as musicians all over the world, we are all very frustrated with what happened with COVID-19. I, you know, I was supposed to start my world tour South x Southwest in Austin on March 14. And we entered a lockdown here in Italy on March 9th. So everything has collapsed on our way to express [ourselves], but we never give up. So, on my side, we just launched a super amazing new, super exciting, live streaming platform that is called A-Live, which is a new concept that I developed with some friends in the Silicon Valley and my professors that implies AI and the real time interaction with the audience. So I'm very excited about that at the moment, because I played the first gig since March three days ago.

And with the techniques you'll be live, I was actually surrounded by the real faces of the people that were watching the concert. And I was using these faces to create choreographies and video art. So it's, for me, it doesn't have anything to do with A-Mint. If you ask me where I'm going, that's what the clever monkey says: "Okay, I can't play now, what the fuck? I must invent myself a platform that enables me to do that well!" So, in terms of the development of A-Mint, I mean, we've spent quite a lot of time to build the plugin to make it suitable for Ableton. And now it works. And I'm very, very excited because it makes my workflow, especially in the live shows much easier, not implying a bridge between two standalone softwares and stuff like that.

We are working a lot into developing the visual. And, as I was saying before, that's the hard part because it implies very powerful machines, a lot of expenses in terms of research and blah, blah, blah. So in terms of what I would like to implement in A-Mint, it's the audio part, meaning that now A-Mint works as a MIDI engine. So every brain is hooked to a VST or a beautiful instrument. And, it would be an in our development, which we already started, we are working also on the audio. And I wouldn't really be the least bit surprised that we would have some outstanding results, also, with the use of the voice. That is something that I would like to explore as well, but it is, you know, it will take a lot of time and resources and money.

Unfortunately, if I don't have a lot of live performances, I don't have a lot of money to invest in research and development. That's basically the things; and then to make the tool usable to everybody, meaning that I would like to work on the interface a little bit and make it more suitable for other musicians to use it. With K7, we're working to extend the panel of collaborations. So to have more artists to dive deeper into this new system of making music, because for me, the new system of making shows and music - this is what I'm busy about. And also of course, I'm very busy with the promotion of the record. And so it's all part of my big project. So everything goes in a very current and focused way towards the future.

Darwin: Yeah. The coordination is actually pretty interesting. And it's great to see because yeah, right now is a neat time to talk with you because you do have the release, you've got this well-created website that can at least give us some insight on what your performance this might be like, but this ongoing work that you're doing is pretty fabulous.

Alex: I have to update the website, I must say...

Darwin: There's a lot of good stuff there already, but to keep it, keep it going because it's a really great touch point.

Well, Alex, I want to thank you so much for taking the time to have this discussion. It was really great to dive deep into some of this nerdy talk, but also very human talk, too. I really do appreciate that.

Alex: I really loved it. And thank you for giving me the chance and possibility to do it. It was special. Thank you very much.

Darwin: Awesome. Well with that, I'm going to let you go - have a great day!

Alex: You too. Thank you very much. Bye bye.

Copyright 2020 by Darwin Grosse. All right reserved.