Robert Hertzberg

Robert Hertzberg

Former Speaker of the California State Assembly and Majority Leader of the California State Senate


Senate Majority Leader Robert Hertzberg was first elected to the California State Assembly in 1996. He then served as the 64thSpeaker of the Assembly, twice unanimously elected by his colleagues. For the decade that followed, Hertzberg worked as a clean energy entrepreneur, where he helped create one of the first solar companies in Los Angeles, and co-launched a company that produced solar panels for use around the world. In recognition of his efforts in Rwanda, he received the “World Bank Award for Lighting Africa,” and Guardian Magazine named him one of the “50 People Who Could Save the Planet.”

Hertzberg returned to government when he was elected to represent the San Fernando Valley in the California State Senate in 2014. Hertzberg’s environmental expertise and his penchant for problem solving have played a key role in his accomplishments in the Senate to date. Hertzberg has advanced environmental protection laws, championed clean water access, and passed legislation to prepare for droughts. From bail reform to data privacy, Hertzberg approaches every problem through a lens of governing for the next generation. A lawyer by trade, Hertzberg earned his law degree from UC Hastings College of the Law. The Los Angeles Business Journal named him one of the top ten lawyers in Los Angeles, and The Daily Journal has repeatedly named him one of the top 100 lawyers in California.

Hertzberg was previously a member of Think Long California.

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.