Music is Dead? Long live music! A talk with Robert Thomas

Membership plan: Going Deeper | Topics: Music Production

Course overview

This AMA has now passed and the recording is not available

If AI services like Suno and Udio have transformed recorded music making as we know it so that anyone can prompt music with no skills needed, where do we go from here?

What is the role of artists in a world of AI and machine learning?

These are the provocative and relevant questions that composer and programmer Robert M Thomas will explore in this Ask Me Anything session.

Over the last 20 years, Robert has explored many possibilities beyond recorded music in numerous collaborations including Brian Eno, Massive Attack, Hans Zimmer and Imogen Heap. 

Robert believes music is at a critical moment where its very value is being called into question. As AI music generates millions of hours of music through simple prompts, recorded music is potentially becoming even more devalued. But against this bleak backdrop is it possible that machine learning is shining a new light on what it means to be an artist in the 21st century? Is it forcing us into an artistic existential crisis from which we must ask ourselves difficult questions, and reevaluate the future for music and art?

What are the opportunities which artists can explore using concepts that are outside the realms of conventional music creation, distribution and listening processes? How can artists form meaningful and unique relationships with their listeners through released music?

Join us to ask Robert questions, as well as have your say on this vital subject.

The session lasts for one hour, but you are welcome to stay longer if the discussion continues further.

Who is this session for?

  • Professionals and aspiring artists curious about the impact of AI on traditional music making and their future roles in the industry
  • Those interested in how emerging technologies like AI and machine learning reshape artistic expression and creative processes
  • People fascinated by AI and machine learning, especially those interested in its application in the arts and music

Session materials and Zoom link

  • Zoom link


  • An Internet connection
  • A Zoom account

Course schedule

Meet your instructor

Robert M. Thomas is a pioneering composer, sound designer and audio programmer. He not only creates innovative music but redefines the way music itself is experienced. Unlike fixed recordings or streams his music can intelligently adapt & personalize itself in real time through the bespoke software he creates. Through experimental instrumentation, elaborate production techniques and creating bespoke software / technology he often creates breakthrough experiences. His work has been performed at the Barbican London, Walt Disney Concert Hall LA, Lincoln Centre NYC, NXT Museum, 180 Strand, COP26 Glasgow, Somerset House and exhibited at the Tate. His many collaborators include ambient pioneer Brian Eno, trip-hop innovators Massive Attack, film composer Hans Zimmer, singer-songwriter Imogen Heap, sound designer Ben Burtt, neural artist Sofia Crespo and the trailblazing London Contemporary Orchestra. His commissions include Los Angeles Philharmonic, The Barbican, Tate St Ives, BBC, Sky, National Geographic, Google, Bose, London Design Biennale, COP26, and Boiler Room. Robert is a leading expert in adaptive and generative functional music for health. He has composed many functional music soundtracks including music for exercise, driving, meditation, sleep, emotions, focus, lunar cycles, traffic, weather, heart rate, internet data, stress levels and had entire audiences interacting with his music.

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