Letter from AIVA responds to criticism by FLAC on AI song
Following the letter by FLAC (Fédération luxembourgeois des auteurs et compositeurs) on Monday 15 May, the company AIVA has riposted by defending its creation.
The spat follows after FLAC deplored the fact that a musical piece written by an artificial intelligence programme would be played at the official national day ceremony on 23 June, arguing that enough “human” composers were available in the grand duchy.
On Tuesday 16 May, AIVA sent a letter to the minister of culture, Xavier Bettel, which starts by pointing out that the whole AIVA Technologies team has been taken off the members’ list of the FLAC without any previous notifications or explanation. It noted that all members of its team are members of SACEM, (Luxembourg society of the collective management of the rights of author, composers and editors).
AIVA stated its willingness to discuss any issues, but is disappointed by the “abstruse and unjust” criticisms.
“The official letter by FLAC to the minister of culture is not a reflection of the unanimous opinion of its members. We even wonder about the legitimacy of this letter. Whom does this situation benefit, and why?”
Relegated from overture to prologue
A statement from the ministry of culture to Delano on Monday 15 May noted that the piece would be placed in the prologue to the festivities.
“We have just learned that the piece ‘Opus 23’ of AIVA will be put in the prologue even though an ‘overture’ was commissioned and created.”
Pierre Barreau, CEO of AIVA, told Delano that he and his colleagues are devastated that their piece has been “relegated” to the prologue, which is played in the hour before the official guests arrive.
AIVA’s letter, seen by Delano, continued:
“Who is disturbed by the fact that a new composer (other than those with an ego anchored in their long-standing habits) is present at the official ceremony, which impedes others to grow and shine under the pressure of other jealous composers, to whom we hold out a hand to collaborate in the shaping of the future?”
AIVA also questioned the assertion that its music would not be authentic and sincere. “Our talent is in writing these lines of codes which will create that music. Does the FLAC pretend to impose a universal definition of what is art?”
Artificial intelligence will not replace, but increase the capacities of humans tomorrow. The multiple collaborations between human musicians and AIVA is proof of that, the letter stated.
Finally, AIVA wants to rectify some of the allegations of FLAC: “it really is a startup created by musicians and composers, open to all human candidacies in the area of music and technology. Our company is an ‘in-shore’ from Luxembourg, an SARL with total transparency on its associates which founded it in 2016, all either Luxembourg nationals or Luxembourg residents. We hope that this defamatory point will not be repeated to create a smoke and mirror effect which is not audacious.”
The letter finished by calling for collaboration, stating that competition only comes from other continents.
Statement from the ministry of culture
Contacted by Delano on Tuesday 16 May, the spokesperson for the ministry of culture stated that:
"AIVA received the commission for a piece in the context of the official national day ceremony, and that piece is now foreseen for the prologue."