Holly+ - Holly Herndon digital avatar project

Saw this today:

I’m excited to finally share something I have been working on for the last year🪄 Holly+

I am releasing Holly+ in collaboration with Never Before Heard Sounds, the first tool of many to allow for others to make artwork with my voice, and will distribute ownership of my digital likeness through the creation of the Holly+ DAO :two_women_holding_hands:

My voice is precious to me! It is 1 of 1 :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

With a blog explaining stuff in more detail:

Curious on people’s thoughts.

I’m not sure I have thoughts. Have you made a decent sound with it? Everything I make sounds pretty bad.

I need to re-read. The NFT bit disturbs me a little. Some ideas seem great though, especially around what is one’s ownership of one’s voice (model) (identity) (etc) but again I need to re-read to go beyond the buzzwords that are peppered all over the place. Or maybe I’m just tired.

In the meantime, I’ve uploaded one of the files from our distribution (ScratchySynth) to see how it makes it sound. I should sell it for one gazillion dollars as the first Holly+FluCoMa rendering :slight_smile:

Here it is for free: Holly+

I specifically avoided putting my own things in the first bit, but a lot about it puts me off. Mainly the NFT stuff, but just some of the general concerns and overall flavor.

I couldn’t get the webpage working for me (I only tried one file), but from the sounds of it it sounds… whatever.

I find the idea of agency, originality, permutation, etc… all super interesting, but from the completely opposite side that this (subversion, plagarism, plunderphonics, etc…). This reads to me as very “silicon valley”.

Not interesting enough for its own thread (perhaps), but it reminds me of this a bit:

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:heavy_check_mark: StyleGan2
:heavy_check_mark: NFT
:heavy_check_mark: Handwaving about the ethics and implications of AI (forget NFT that i just mentioned which is destroying the environment :slight_smile: :evergreen_tree: :fire: )

I dunno, it just has the vibe of being total fad to me, without much consideration for the actual artistic/musical or practical implications of what is being done. Hey I got this private company to train a model of my voice! Okay?? Does it make sounds which are interesting or is the technology pushing on something that we as a shared community really care about? I don’t think so, its a way of increasing one’s presence in this hyper-techy space of music production by making something that releases nice for a PR thing. I think I woke up on the wrong side of the bed today.

That said, I don’t think this area is a dead end, but the way this is presented is so incredibly problematic and already closed off to be of general interest or enrichment to others beyond shiny


Hey everyone!

The whole things looks like a take on Differentiable Digital Signal Processing (DDSP) code released by Google a year ago :

Although not very surprising/exciting because it is based on the hype around a person, I don’t have a problem with the concept. But I think the implementation (in a web browser) makes it useless. Who will upload 50 sounds in there and re-import them in their daw to create anything ?

The whole NFT thing makes me cringe…