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Song of the Ambassadors

April 17, 2023 - April 21, 2023

Conceived by K Allado-McDowell, Song of the Ambassadors reimagines opera as a musical ritual producing scientific understanding about the effects of music on the body and mind.

It is first and foremost an opera. It is also a meditation and a neuroscience experiment. The music is by composer Derrick Skye, whose work draws from classical traditions spanning the world, and integrates advanced electronics and instrumental techniques. The libretto is a hymn to the sun, space, and life written by K Allado-McDowell using the AI language model GPT-3, performed by three vocalists representing the opera’s titular ambassadors.

The neuroscience experiments are performed by a team of scientists from UCSD, who record and analyze brainwaves, heart rate and subjective feedback of subjects in the audience. An EEG cap worn by Lincoln Center’s Chief Artistic Officer, Shanta Thake, will create AI-generated projections during the performance, provided by visual artist Refik Anadol, complimented by set designs from Marcos Lutyens.


April 17, 2023
April 21, 2023


TED Conferences