Terra Lawson-Remer

Terra Lawson-Remer

Social Change Entrepreneur, Political Economist and Attorney; 2017-18 Berggruen Fellow at CASBS


Terra Lawson-Remer is exploring the global implications of radical advances in biotechnology and how it impacts sociogenomic research, assisted reproduction, and gene therapy research at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. A managing partner of Catalyst, a research and strategy legal firm, she received her Ph.D. and J.D. from New York University before becoming a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a senior advisor at the U.S. Treasury. Her publications include: Fulfilling Social and Economic Rights (Oxford University Press, 2014), “Undoing the Resource Curse: How oil can save Libyan Democracy” ( Foreign Policy , 2014), and “A User’s Guide to Democratic Transitions: A how-to guide for reformers around the world” ( Foreign Policy , 2013).

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