As we find ourselves currently at the intersection of technology and humanity where physical forms embedded with Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems may one day reach a level of sophistication that approaches human level artificial general intelligence, human engineering of the inanimate may produce companions previously unimaginable. It is precisely this concept of an inanimate-human companionship that pioneer surgeon and project Creative Director, Dr Susan Lim explores in the ‘Fantasy of Companionship’ for Piano & Orchestra, composed by Manu Martin and set to be recorded on 19th November 2019 at Abbey Rd Studios. The recording will feature acclaimed pianist, Tedd Joselson alongside the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Arthur Fagen, together with solo voices and choral ensemble, London Voices.
Additionally, Tedd Joselson will record the Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.2 with the Philharmonia Orchestra and the Grieg Concerto for Piano and Orchestra with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on 25th and 26th November respectively, also at Abbey Rd, to accompany the debut of the Lim Fantasy of Companionship. The conductor at each recording session will be Arthur Fagen.
A pioneer in the field of transplantation, robotics and stem cell research, Dr Susan Lim first introduced the concept of enabling inanimates to be companions of the future at the ‘Road to the US - India Global Entrepreneurship Summit’ in partnership with INK 2017, in Hyderabad, India, in the session ‘Giant Leaps: Thrilling Potential of AI and Robotics’. Dr Lim has concerned herself with the very real problems of both an ageing global population and loneliness on one hand and disruptive new science and technologies on the other. In the ‘Fantasy’, she explores through music the potential of inanimate life and how these factors may influence new concepts of companionship. She sees that the bio-engineering of inanimate objects has started to blur the line between life and non-life and feels passionate about opening this up as a global conversation through a creative medium of communication, namely her project ‘ALAN the Musical’, from which the ‘Fantasy of Companionship’ for Piano and Orchestra draws inspiration.
Belgian-American pianist, Tedd Joselson was only 17 when he auditioned in 1973 for the Philadelphia Orchestra’s music director, Eugene Ormandy, after which the famous conductor remarked “Anything you want, you can play with us”. He was offered a recording contract by RCA whilst still a student at Juilliard and made a number of critically acclaimed recordings. He is noted for his lyrical playing across a wide range of repertoire.
Music Director of the Atlanta Opera since 2010, conductor Arthur Fagen is in great demand as a conductor of symphony and opera throughout Europe, Asia, South America and in the USA. He is a regular guest at prestigious opera houses, concert halls and music festivals around the world. Mr Fagen is currently Professor of Orchestral Conducting at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, USA.
Manu Martin graduated at the age of 16 from the Conservatory of Bordeaux with a jury ‘Special Mention’. He then joined the Faculty of Musicology of Toulouse and Bordeaux, where he completed a Masters in Musicology. He moved to Paris to pursue a career as a pianist and composer, composing music for television and radio. Mr Martin has worked alongside acclaimed French artists and most recently composed six of the tracks from Florent Pagny’s chart-topping album ‘Aime La Vie’. In 2017, Manu Martin joined Dr Susan Lim’s ALAN project both as a musician and music arranger for the ‘ALAN the Musical’, together with Matthieu Eymard, Music Director for the ALAN project. Recognising Martin’s musical talents and creativity, Dr Lim commissioned him to compose the Lim Fantasy of Companionship for Piano and Orchestra.
Said ‘Fantasy’ composer Manu Martin: “The opportunity to work alongside Creative Director, Dr Susan Lim on the ALAN project together with Music Director, Matthieu Eymard, to share Susan’s vision of companionship for the future and to compose the Fantasy of Companionship for Piano and Orchestra with her guidance has been the most extraordinary and uplifting experience of a lifetime for me.“
Noted Dr Susan Lim: “In November 2018, I commissioned Manu Martin to write me a Fantasy conveying hope for the future of companionship between an inanimate and a human; a Fantasy that would, through the sheer brilliance of pianist Tedd Joselson and the London Symphony Orchestra, unfold and explain the journey of a soul from wild to captive, from animate to inanimate and with the addition of electric sounds, to herald the inanimate’s bold futuristic step into a new world order of synthetic biology, AI and robotics, climaxing through solo voices and a chorus in the most heartfelt plea of the inanimate for a shared existence with its human partner, an entanglement of souls, a human-inanimate partnership, the future of companionship“.
Pianist Tedd Joselson added: “Based on a remarkable story of companionship in the age of technology in ‘ALAN the Musical’ and with the guidance of its genius creator, Dr Susan Lim and the young star composer, Manu Martin, the ‘Fantasy of Companionship for Piano and Orchestra has been co-created - a truly magnificent addition to the realm of piano concerto repertoire. The Fantasy is based on original music from the ‘ALAN the musical, which in addition to the glorious piano and orchestral writing also prominently features an electric guitar, solo voices and chorus, a masterstroke of creative ingenuity, which I am truly delighted and honoured to lead as solo pianist".
The recording is scheduled for release in 2020.