Saule Omarova

Saule Omarova

Senior Berggruen Fellow


Saule Omarova is the Beth and Marc Goldberg Professor Law and the Director of the Clarke Program on the Law and Regulation of Financial Institutions and Markets at Cornell University. She holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a J.D. from Northwestern University. Prior to joining academia, Saule practiced law at Davis, Polk & Wardwell in New York and served at the U.S. Department of the Treasury as a Special Advisor for Regulatory Policy to the Under Secretary for Domestic Finance. Saule is one of the country’s leading academic experts on law and finance, with a focus on systemic risk regulation and structural trends in financial markets. She is the author of numerous articles published in leading law journals and edited volumes. Her research on the roles of financial evolution and regulatory accommodation in the transformation of American banking has drawn attention among U.S. legislators, who regularly seek her advice and Congressional testimony. At the Berggruen Institute, Saule will be working on institutional design for financing sustainable and equitable economic development.

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.