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The House-Concert App
How AI could bring musicians (or others) to your home
My old friend Stan, who writes Fave Five, likes to host folk musicians at his house. Not superstars, but professionals who are good enough to have a following. This “house concert” phenomenon is pretty widespread, as you may know.
With AI, a famous band could give a house concert. For example, suppose that the band 10,000 Maniacs licensed itself for AI house concerts. For a few hundred dollars a day, I could rent the band. I would download the AI version of the band to my computer, which I would then cast to a big flat-screen TV.
In the late 1980s, I saw two bands play that had recorded CD’s that included one song with REM’s Michael Stipe as a guest singer. One of those bands was 10,000 Maniacs. They came to DAR Constitution Hall when In My Tribe was their hit album. When they played “Campfire Song,” Stipe, who had been seated casually in an aisle seat in the audience, suddenly bounded up on to the stage to sing his part.
The other band that I saw was Indigo Girls. At the 9:30 Club, I was standing where I could barely see them. When it came time during “Kid Fears” for Stipe to sing “…Are you on fire,” he wasn’t there. I sang his part where I was standing. Only one guy could hear me, but he turned around and smiled.
With the house-concert app, I could take the computer’s mike and do Michael Stipe’s part, or just sing along in general. Or play guitar with the band.
The AI enables flexibility. If it’s hard for me to reach the right key with my voice, the band can play in a better key for me. If I can’t play guitar fast enough to keep up, they can slow down the song.
I could choose the concert program. Maybe I could have the band cover a song that they never actually covered. I could interview the members of the band.
For better or worse, politicians could use the house-concert app. The AI version of someone running for local office could hold town hall meetings in different people’s houses.
A captivating history lecturer could use the house-concert app. He or she could answer different questions from different audiences. Perhaps representations of historical figures would appear “on stage” with the lecturer.
Maybe even an economist and substack writer could give house concerts. . .