Emile W. Mack

Emile W. Mack

Executive VP of the Korean American Federation of Los Angeles (KAFLA)


Emile was a post Korean War orphan, adopted by a South Central Los Angeles African American family. Though, growing up amid gangs, he went on to UCLA. He joined the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) and rose to Chief Deputy, second-in-command. Being a visionary and innovative leader, he created the LAFD’s 20-year strategic master plan. The Mayor had him lead the LA region in preparing for Katrina evacuees, bringing together countless LA City and County agencies, and NGO’s. As the “go to” person for challenging high profile issues and making difficult change, his initiatives changed the LAFD’s culture that had been plagued by inequity, hostile work environments, and multi-million dollar litigation. Governor Schwarzenegger appointed him to the State Board of Fire Services. Emile works tirelessly in the community. He is the Executive VP of the Korean American Federation of LA representing the Korean community. He chairs the Mixed Roots Foundation raising awareness and funding for the adoption and foster care community. He is on the boards of the Biddy Mason Foundation (First AME Church of LA) supporting foster youth, and Music Miracles that brings music to disadvantaged children. Emile was presented the “Spirit of Los Angeles Award” by Mayor Villaraigosa that recognizes a high-profile community leader who best embodies the spirit and determination of Angelinos. Emile appreciates those that make our world better. Bringing his story full circle, Emile and Jenny adopted their daughter Miya, from Korea.

composed by Arswain
machine learning consultation by Anna Tskhovrebov
commissioned by the Berggruen Institute
premiered at the Bradbury Building
downtown Los Angeles
april 22, 2022

Human perception of what sounds “beautiful” is necessarily biased and exclusive. If we are to truly expand our hearing apparatus, and thus our notion of beauty, we must not only shed preconceived sonic associations but also invite creative participation from beings non-human and non-living. We must also begin to cede creative control away from ourselves and toward such beings by encouraging them to exercise their own standards of beauty and collaborate with each other.

Movement I: Alarm Call
‘Alarm Call’ is a long-form composition and sound collage that juxtaposes, combines, and manipulates alarm calls from various human, non-human, and non-living beings. Evolutionary biologists understand the alarm call to be an altruistic behavior between species, who, by warning others of danger, place themselves by instinct in a broader system of belonging. The piece poses the question: how might we hear better to broaden and enhance our sense of belonging in the universe? Might we behave more altruistically if we better heed the calls of – and call out to – non-human beings?

Using granular synthesis, biofeedback, and algorithmic modulation, I fold the human alarm call – the siren – into non-human alarm calls, generating novel “inter-being” sonic collaborations with increasing sophistication and complexity. 

Movement II: A.I.-Truism
A synthesizer piece co-written with an AI in the style of Vangelis’s Blade Runner score, to pay homage to the space of the Bradbury Building.

Movement III: Alarmism
A machine learning model “learns” A.I.Truism and recreates Alarm Call, generating an original fusion of the two.

Movement IV: A.I. Call
A machine learning model “learns” Alarm Call and recreates A.I.Truism, generating an original fusion of the two.

RAVE (IRCAM 2021) https://github.com/acids-ircam/RAVE