Holly Herndon announces new AI-assisted album, PROTO



A hybrid of human voices and artificial intelligence.

Experimental artist and musician Holly Herndon will release new album PROTO via 4AD this May.

Continuing her exploration of musical relationships at the intersection of humanity and technology, Herndon made the album in collaboration with her own AI ‘baby’ called Spawn, housed in a manipulated gaming PC.

Developed with long-time collaborator Mathew Dryhurst and ensemble developer Jules LaPlace, the AI was trained to identity unfamiliar sounds in group call-and-response sessions with the vocal ensembles Herndon recorded with. Watch the video for first single, ‘Eternal’, below.

Her first release since 2015’s Platform – which explored the personal and political interface between individuals and social media, and was selected as our favourite record of the yearPROTO deals with the notion of protocols, in a technological, social and personal sense.

As she explains: “There’s a pervasive narrative of technology as dehumanizing. We stand in contrast to that. It’s not like we want to run away; we’re very much running towards it, but on our terms. Choosing to work with an ensemble of humans is part of our protocol. I don’t want to live in a world in which humans are automated off stage. I want an A.I. to be raised to appreciate and interact with that beauty.”

Holly Herdon’s PROTO is released on 10th May via 4AD and appears in both black vinyl and limited clear vinyl editions. Pre-order a copy here and check out the artwork and tracklist below.