In That Dark Night front cover

As mentioned, a new single is coming soon. It's called "In That Dark Night" and is sort of a power ballad, or something like that, where Andreas Ulvo plays the piano and Max Eilert plays the bass. No guest artists this time, but in return, I play solo myself, even on a drum machine. I twist and turn a bit in there, creating these nice blips and blop sounds... Bonus points to anyone who can identify which drum machine is sampled in the climax after the solo.

By the way, here's the cover. I think it's quite nice, and it's made with the help of AI (🥁), which is something new and fun that everyone is playing with these days. I've been using various iterations of AI as a tool and a sparring partner for many years now, and what I find most interesting is how this type of usage turns the creative process into a strange and unpredictable dialogue with myself. It allows me to wander through pathways in the brain that may have been overgrown or previously unused, though not necessarily inaccessible.

The challenge of constantly coming up with something new is familiar to most people. At some point, you might find yourself writing the same song, drawing the same picture, or writing the same text. It's because as you "find your sound" or "find your expression," you're essentially training the same synapses over and over again. The effect is that you gain tremendous control over what you've chosen to focus on, but the side effect is the risk of repetition and redoing something you've already done.

So the question is, whether one wants that or not. There are thousands of successful examples of both approaches to artistic development, and it mainly depends on personal preference. For my part, I enjoy stepping off the beaten path, especially if I know how to find my way back, at least to a path that resembles it. That's how this cover was created. The idea is mine, the production is mine, the colors are mine, the adaptation is mine. But exactly how it turned out was shaped by a journey down a path that AI pointed out, where I didn't have complete control. Then I continued working with what I found there.

Something doesn't become new by itself, but I've taken a stance on my own idea and viewed it from a place I probably hadn't discovered in the tangle we all have in our minds. At the very least, it's a variation that was surprising to look at, even for me, even though it wouldn't have been there without me initiating it first. That's what makes the whole process quite interesting, like the chicken and the egg, in a way.

It's also worth remembering that AI is just a recycling of everything that already exists. Therefore, it doesn't create anything new when half of the internet is busy making fantasy lookalikes in super-detailed 8K Ultra HD on Midjourney. ChatGPT cannot write a book either. Whether it's for children or adults, it simply repeats words according to a given pattern, and that pattern comes from humans.

What these tools can do is look at all the existing objects with the same reference and try to create something that resembles them. That's where the difference between us and AI lies. We can choose to create something completely different from the reference. Or, if we don't expand the concept of reference into the realm of surrealism, we can choose to create something that doesn't refer to anything at all. We don't have to paint a flower. Or draw a car. Or sing a single note. In fact, we can sing a bus, draw a C#, and paint without paint. Just ask Torgrim, for example, or see what Kurt Schwitters was up to.

We still have to rely on coming up with new ideas ourselves. And since ideas implicitly express meaning, only those of us who are willing to do something different can participate in creating those ideas. As Jørgen says, "Everyone plays fast? Play slow! Everyone's wearing black? Wear yellow!"

If one makes a living by creating copies, they may face a narrower future. But if that's what they've devoted their life to, perhaps it doesn't matter whether they sell ornaments or vacuum cleaners, background music or oranges. I think it will work out.

Creating something that doesn't make sense to oneself is like a tree falling when no one is there. It's just waves in the air. A physical event without a receiver. That's where AI resides, and that's what AI is. Without us, there is no meaning. If one has something to say, they just need to say it in their own way, as a wise pianist once discovered.

Anyway, pre-save below. The song hasn't been touched by AI at all.