James Murphy serves up 400+ hours of music out of U.S. Open tennis data

james murphy tennis

DFA label co-founder and LCD Soundsystem frontman, James Murphy, never finds a dull moment in life; this time teaming up with IBM for their U.S. Open Sessions. Together, the two are mixing their musical and computer smarts to manufacture every match, every set, and every volley of both men’s and women’s play into a vast musical medley. The process may sound daunting, however Murphy explains it quite matter-of-factly:

“We’re gonna generate almost 400 hours worth of music, only I’m not gonna sit here and play 400 hours of music. I’m setting up a machine to do that. The primary music generator is the algorithm – it’s not me. I’m not writing music. I’m generating probabilities for music.”

Much of this operation depends on computer jargon that Murphy doesn’t understand, but IBM does. Instead, he pinpoints a specific sound to be linked to an action undergone in each match. For instance, if Roger Federer aces his opponent, perhaps a per-clunk! noise will be made, followed by a handful of blip-blip-blip-broing! to signify the next point’s back-and-forth volley play. Each match adds up to be its own unique song, all of which are being compiled here.

This may be headache-inducing to understand, although plenty of coding experts might find the schematics in creating this project to be rather simple. For more about this never-tried-before musical feat, IBM’s promo videos give a deeper explanation to the exact whats and hows of their mission (seen below).

UPDATE: As self-titled reports, Murphy is expected to make 14 remixes based upon “all the weather changes, crowd reactions and hollow point hooks” from the tournament. Each mix will be free to download via Soundcloud, Spotify and iTunes within the next few weeks; however, Soundcloud will host archived versions of every match in both long and short form.


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