Posthumous cover-versions by famous musicians?

Dovetailing neatly with that piece about the Emily Howell program that composes pieces in the style of famous composers as well as its own, here’s another software company who are trying to develop software that will analyse a musician’s playing style from their recorded putput, and then reproduce other songs in the style in which they might have played them.

Or, to put it another way: they want to let you hear how Jimi Hendrix would have jammed out any national anthem you care to name. They’re not quite there yet, though:

As things stand now, Zenph’s technology looks at actual old recordings to find out how a performer played a certain song, and is not capable of figuring out how a musician would play a new part. “We hope — but we can’t demonstrate today — that after we’ve done several re-performances of a given artist, we will understand enough about that individual’s musical style to be able to suggest how that style might manifest itself in the performance of a work that the artist never actually performed,” said Frey, clarifying that today Zenph’s software only reproduces performances, it doesn’t create them.

That faint hint of white noise you can hear? That’s the sound of thousands of copyright lawyers rubbing their hands together in anticipation.