"Slap in the face" of Lux. composers and musicians
The Luxembourg federation of authors and composers (FLAC) have published an open letter blasting the culture minister’s commissioning of a song written by a computer program that uses artificial intelligence during the official national day ceremony on 23 June.
The FLAC wrote to Xavier Bettel, who is prime minister, minister of culture and minister of communications.
The letter, published on Friday 12 May, started by pointing out that musicians and composers have never rejected new technologies to produce music, and that they welcome the government’s initiatives to facilitate the creation of startups in Luxembourg.
A slap in the face
The federation of musicians and composers stated that it was “an affront to Luxembourg’s composers, a slap in the face of all creative people in the arts.”
Official commissions are rare in Luxembourg and the opportunities of promoting Luxembourg art even more so, lamented the federation.
The federation argued that the national day could be a window for the arts, as it is already for the other sectors. Luxembourg’s national day, according to the composers, merits an artistic, sincere and authentic added value in music, not a technological product which can be reproduced ad infinitum for every occasion.
The federation implored Bettel “to stop this folly”.
Contacted by Delano, the ministry’s spokesperson stated on Monday that:
“we can confirm that a musical piece written by AIVA (artificial intelligence visual artist) is planned in the prologue to the programme for national day. It is a Luxembourg startup and AIVA is officially recognized as a composer from SACEM [editor’s note: LuXembourg society of the collective management of the rights of author, composers and editors]. This is not at all to replace the artistic “human” creation with a “virtual” creative act, but to recognise what is being achieved in digital and technological startups and research. It should also be noted that the programme of the official ceremony foresees a piece and arrangement by Luxembourg composers.”
An official statement by minister for culture Bettel added later that day:
« Luxembourg is a country of artistic creation, and at the same time an innovative country and a global player in new technologies ; and these two characteristics can coexist perfectly. The festivities for national day are a good opportunity to show the richness of the creative spirit that our country shows in all sectors”, states the minister of culture Xavier Bettel, and adds: “I am proud and happy that the musical programme of the official ceremony includes a piece by Pascal Schumacher and an arrangement by Ivan Boumans who will pay homage to Edmond de la Fontaine.”