Interview with French Composer Arnaud Fillion

French composer, Arnaud Fillion

One of my dreams had always been to compose music that would connect people and cultures from all over the world by singing messages of peace in many different languages, expressing the diversity on earth.

Tell us about yourself and what you do

My name is Arnaud Fillion, I am a French composer. Some people also know me as “Arnito”, which is my artistic name as a musician and guitar player. I dedicate my life to writing, performing, and recording music, exploring and expanding my vocabulary through projects in various genres such as classical, jazz, contemporary, and various world and traditional music.

Who has inspired you in your life and why?

There are many musicians who have had a significant influence on the way I approach the creative process now, opening my heart and mind to infinite inspiring emotions. Some of these musicians include Keith Jarrett, Rachmaninov, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Pat Metheny, J.S. Bach… Looking back, I believe that my inspiration as a composer comes from all the minor and major experiences of life that I have been open to and ready to transpose into music. I enjoy allowing these sources of inspiration to flow by regularly taking time to travel, which helps me reconnect with myself and nature, giving me the time and space to think and develop ideas. Traveling also allows me to discover new music and cultures, feeding my creativity.

What is your greatest achievement so far?

One of my dreams had always been to compose music that would connect people and cultures from all over the world by singing messages of peace in many different languages, expressing the diversity on earth. I began working on this project years ago, mainly during a composer’s residency in 2017-2018 in New Mexico. I dedicated this time to writing original texts that would be the essence of this project, as well as the music and orchestration. As a result, “Kune” (which means “Together” in Esperanto) was born as a symphony for peace, a creation for choir, soloists, and a symphony orchestra that incorporates around fifty languages from around the world, centered on themes like fraternity, empathy, respect, ecology, and common concerns. The writing process required the participation of around a hundred volunteers, translators, and intermediaries (readers who recorded the translations as phonetic references for singers). It was then quite a challenge to find a choir and orchestra to perform it, especially with the issues brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Kune was finally premiered and recorded last October in Lviv, Ukraine, and the result is an album performed by the Lviv Chamber Choir “Gloria” and the Lviv National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine, conducted by Serhiy Khorovets. This album is now available on all streaming platforms, and you can listen to it here: https://li.sten.to/kune

Furthermore, Kune was filmed and broadcast live last October in Lviv. You can still watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwRdY8vmQWk

 

What do you think about the use of Artificial Intelligence into the music creation and industry?

I am very concerned about this issue, as I find it to be very dangerous for our future, not only in music but in general. I believe that every technological innovation comes with a price: while it may provide benefits in one aspect, it also takes away from another. With the evolution of A.I. today, I think we have reached a point where authorities and governments need to take responsibility to regulate it. This is because we are facing the potential of millions of job losses in the coming years, leading to a loss of knowledge and serious social and psychological impacts.

In the realm of music, A.I. has become impressive in its ability to compose and produce music quickly and effortlessly in any genre. While the results may not be mind-blowing in terms of originality, they do meet a good standard quality for mainstream purposes. However, these products are essentially counterfeit as they are based on algorithmic variations derived from previous compositions and sounds. This makes it easy for anyone, even without musical knowledge, to use these generated tracks for commercial purposes and even claim them as their own intellectual property.

As with texts and graphics, music is heading in the same direction, making it increasingly difficult to distinguish between human-created and artificially generated work. It is essential, in my opinion, to at least label artificial products and have the ability to trace them to prevent unauthorized use.

Ultimately, we need to ask ourselves why we are developing tools that aim to replace us in every task, including thinking, creating art, and expressing emotions. Many of these tasks are crucial for personal, intellectual, and social development, as well as our overall well-being. I also think that humanity relies on heroes to inspire us, guide us, and nurture new pioneers and leaders. If we reach a point where humans cannot compete with machines, will we still be able to trust and listen to each other?

It is concerning to see the paradox created by new technologies, such as the A.I. but also internet and smartphones. While they advance rapidly, they also contribute to isolation, manipulation, overconsumption, and the acceleration of pollution and destruction of the earth. Hopefully, one day, mankind will realize this and develop technologies that align with a more sustainable and positive direction.

Arnaud Fillion

“Arnito”

www.arnito.net

 

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