The Haunting of Alvin Cohan was originally composed in 1984 and has undergone several revisions since then. The core themes in the work are as relevant today as they were then, and perhaps we are seeing even more real world implications of explorations of the concept of evolution and the nature of consciousness, and humanity’s struggle between free will and inherited or encultured behaviour, drawing from the long histories of our civilisations.

The examination of the theme of misunderstanding or suspecting the true intentions of another to be malign, and seeking to chastise and control those whose ideas and actions deviate from group norms in a way which threatens the authority of those in power, are ever present concerns of our principles and practices of law and justice.

Alongside the presentation of the full vocal work in it’s entirety in workshop form, David’s daughter and collaborator Briar Adams takes the opportunity to use the libretto and narrative of The Haunting of Alvin Cohan as a springboard for investigation of the use of generative AI in art, and to examine the biases in various machine learning models which have become widely available for public use since 2022.

Briar will use themes evoked by the work to critically examine and discuss the AI art imagery generated during this research, in conjunction with the movement direction and collaboration with participants who creatively contribute to the live presentation, to expand the public conversation about the meaning of art and the value of artistic authorship.

To find out more about Briar’s machine learning and AI generative art research, you can contact Briar on LinkedIn.

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