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Decades before DALL-E, a cartoonist made Amiga computers compose their own music


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For the last five days, I've been releasing previously-lost software by the Israeli cartoonist Yaakov Kirschen, recently rescued from floppy disks.


Today, the story reaches the Amiga: https://breakintochat.com/blog/2022/11/29/unearthed-kirschens-music-creator-for-ibm-pc/


From 1986 to 1989, Kirschen and his team of student programmers at LKP Ltd. developed an Amiga-based "artificial creativity" system to let computers compose their own music, by extracting the "musical DNA" of existing songs or classical pieces, then recombining these components in new ways.




He used his system to score background music for a BBC TV documentary called "The Demjanjuk Dossier" which aired in 1988. I posted the end credits on YT, which feature some of the music.


Kirschen and his "Jiffy Box" were later profiled by the Los Angeles Times and the Associated Press. But he never found the big commercial success he dreamed of.

Read the full story on the blog.


Unfortunately, the Amiga software is likely gone forever. But a later PC adaptation of the software, "The Music Creator," has been saved. It lacks the fun "artificial personality" interface of the Amiga version, but it is functional, and you can download it from the blog post above.

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