David Cope

Mozart has resumed composing -- his latest sonata was written about five years ago, and it can be heard on a CD entitled "Bach by Design" which also features five brand new Inventions by Bach, prelude number four by Gershwin, and several other unheard-of pieces. The old masters owe their rebirth to the one-time mental block of a living composer. David Cope, who lives in Santa Cruz, California, was commissioned with an opera about 17 years ago, but he just couldn't think of any inspired music. In his agony, he decided to analyze the ideas of dead composers with the help of a computer. He fed his computer with standard classical pieces, and the result was a program with the acronym "emi." When a computer is equipped with "emi," it takes masterworks apart before rearranging them, piece by piece, into new works that are more or less in the style of the old masters. Today, "emi" provides his inventor with new commissions on a regular basis. Excerpts from Gustav Mahler's first opera will soon be premiered in Oxford, England. Never mind that Mahler wrote no operas -- Copes' smart computer does the trick. Samples of "emi's" prowess can be found on two CD's -- "Bach by Design" and "Classical Music Composed by Computer." Georg Hirsch listened and spoke with the ceator of "emi."

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