Most of us will be familiar with the story of War Of The Worlds; if not the book, then the classic Jeff Wayne musical version, released in 1978 and featuring a cast of the finest singers and musicians on offer at the time. Now, a new version has been released, ‘War Of The Worlds 2023 AI’, and in keeping with the science fiction theme of the original, it’s an AI creation; fusing deep fake celebrity voice models, and Chat GPT ghost writing.
The album is the brainchild of modular artist, Cinematic Laboratory, in The Hague, The Netherlands. The album fuses an audio comic with music, 3D field recordings, cutting-edge AI text-to-speech dialogues, and Chat GPT ghostwriting. Combining handmade sounds, real analogue voltage, and digital magic, the very boundaries of 21st century music production have been stretched beyond our imaginations by Cinematic Laboratory.
While controversial – using deep fake AI celebrity voice models and Chat GPT means the production would always have its detractors – the album gets into new territories by being not just a music album, nor an audiobook, or a podcast. It’s undefinable – and as a result the album has been rejected by the major streaming services as music. Nonetheless, it’s an experience for the eyes and ears, and we ask that everyone put aside their preconceptions and just enjoy it.
Although it’s not able to be streamed as music, ‘War Of The Worlds 2023 AI’ is now available as a Spotify podcast, complete with eight episodes, a trailer song, and a disclaimer, where the deep fake celebrity AI actors give their explanations. The production even includes bloopers!
Taking inspiration from the timeless 1898 novel by HG Wells, as well as the classic 1956 movie, ‘Forbidden Planet’, Cinematic Laboratory steers us in a direction we don’t expect: rather than an invasion by creatures from Mars, it’s Krell Technology, from the forbidden planet, Altair 4. They explain that the Krell were a highly civilised species, about a million years more advanced than humans. Sadly their technology became their downfall, and The Krell were exterminated in a single day. Their machines had been designed to transform thoughts into reality, but unfortunately this also meant that peoples deepest thoughts and nightmares were similarly transformed. The tech has finally reached Earth, but before we completely work out how to use this gift, we encounter all that we had come to expect from The War of the Worlds – tripod attacks, heat rays, zombies, and so on. Thankfully, all ends well.
All in all, ‘War Of The Worlds 2023 AI’ is a compelling exploration of the power of imagination and its ability to shape, disrupt, damage, and finally, heal our lives. While it cannot be defeated by the common cold, like Wells’ Martians, we can still learn to take control.
In addition to the Spotify podcast, the Bandcamp release features transcripts of the story, as well as a special original sound track album, along with instrumentals.
‘War Of The Worlds 2023 AI’ is out now and is available to stream and download here.