Nicole Grunwald Silver

Nicole Grunwald Silver

Senior Program Manager


Nicole Grunwald Silver is Senior Program Manager at the Berggruen Institute. She is responsible for managing the annual Berggruen Prize nomination process, supporting the Executive Vice President in liaising with the Board of Directors, and promoting the work of the 21st Century Council.

Prior to joining the Institute, Nicole managed John Legend’s philanthropic work through FREEAMERICA and The Show Me Campaign at Propper Daley. With The Skoll Center for Social Impact Entertainment at UCLA, she advanced key programmatic work leveraging the power of art and entertainment for impact. Previously in New York City, Nicole served as Associate Program Manager at the Clinton Foundation, focusing on issues of gender equality and early childhood education. She also served on the communications team and on President Clinton’s correspondence team.

Nicole graduated cum laude from the University of Southern California where she received her bachelor’s degree in International Relations. She speaks German and Spanish.

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.