Good mental health and well-being isn’t always easy to achieve. For many life’s worries and anxieties become too overwhelming to bear. It’s important, now more than ever that we have the right support in our lives.
Lost Tapes of the 27 Club is a project developed to raise awareness of mental health within the music industry. The aim of the initiative is also to encourage musicians suffering from battles with mental health to seek help.
Over the Bridge, a Toronto based organization that provides mental health and addiction recovery education launched the project. Additionally, the organization offers harm reduction training and long-term support.
Through use of artificial intelligence, the organization have created songs in the style of artists who were lost at a young age; some of whom due to their struggles with mental health. The tracks are symbolic of what the singer/songwriters may have been able to offer to the world had they received the support they needed.
Analysis of existing compositions are used to create each song. The Artificial Intelligence program is given the hooks, rhythms, melodies and lyrics from the music of a specific artist. It then utilizes these aspects to generate a composition in that musician’s style. The company then brings in tribute artists to add a layer of realism by mimicking the inflections of the chosen singer.
The organization’s website has provided facts relating to the state of mental health within the music industry. Currently, 71% of musicians have experienced instances of anxiety and panic attacks, with 68% having reported experiencing depression. Suicide rates among people working in the music industry is also 2 times that of those reported by the general public.
Artists that Over the Bridge have chosen include Nirvana and Amy Winehouse.
The public have responded with mixed reactions. While the organization’s attempts to raise awareness for mental health is praised, their method for doing so draws ire. Main criticisms are that while the music does sound like that of the artist, it feels hollow and lacks emotional integrity.
But this supports the organization’s movement,
“Through this album, we’re encouraging more music industry insiders to get the mental health support they need, so they can continue making the music we all love for years to come. Because even AI will never replace the real thing.”
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