Watch James Murphy Describe His US Open Music Project (And Listen To The Music Live)

James Murphy creating music with IBM


Former LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy.

This video is sponsored by IBM.

To musician and producer James Murphy, every break point, unforced error, and service ace at the U.S. Open is music to his ears.

Murphy, the former frontman for LCD Soundsystem, has been collaborating with IBM on an innovative music project for the U.S. Open, using raw data from tennis matches to generate distinct compositions.

"I've never done anything quite like this," Murphy says in a trailer for the project, in which he talks more about how the music is being created.

Working with developer Patrick Gunderson, Murphy created an algorithm that converts tennis data into music. But in the trailer, he clarifies that he's not actually composing the music.

"The primary music generator is the algorithm; it's not me," Murphy explains. "I'm not writing music. I'm generating probabilities for music."

The initial prototype was based in code, but Gunderson changed it to feature switches and dials so that Murphy, who doesn't have a background in coding, would be able to better understand it.

"It's the technology that's quite different for me. I work with physical things, and he's making the computer look like a physical thing for me," Murphy says.

A unique track is generated for many of the matches, which is sent through IBM's cloud servers and streamed live from "The U.S. Open Sessions" site. Using cloud enables the site to be responsive, scalable, and effective at processing real-time data.

The project will run during the entire U.S. Open, which started on Aug. 25 and will end on Sept. 8. During the tournament, Murphy will release 14 exclusive tracks remixed from his favorite matches.

Watch the trailer below to learn more about how Murphy and IBM are converting tennis data into music.

Learn more about IBM's "U.S. Open Sessions" collaboration with James Murphy.

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