Mohamed A. El-Erian

Mohamed A. El-Erian

Chief Economic Advisor, Allianz


Mohamed A. El-Erian is the President of Queens’ College Cambridge and the former CEO of PIMCO. He serves as the Chief Economic Adviser of Allianz, Chair of Gramercy and Professor of Practice at the Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania). The author of two New York Times best-selling books, he publishes widely on international economics, including weekly Bloomberg columns, a monthly column in Project Syndicate and as contributing editor to the Financial Times. He was ranked among Foreign Policy’s “Top 100 Global Thinkers” from 2009-2012. Before joining PIMCO, El-Erian spent 15 years at the International Monetary Fund and served as Managing Director at Salomon Smith Barney/Citigroup and President and CEO of Harvard Management Company. He is a board member of the National Bureau for Economic Research, Barclays and UnderArmour (Lead Independent Director). He has been the chair of the Microsoft Investment Advisory Committee since 2006. Dr. El-Erian received a B.A. and an M.A. from Cambridge University, and an M.Phil and Ph.D. from Oxford University.

El-Erian was previously a member of the 21st Century Council, Council for the Future of Europe, and The WorldPost Advisory Council.

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.