Peak Time

Holly Herndon and Onyx Collective

120 minsFirst aired 16 May 2019
Boris Camaca / Courtesy of Onyx Collective

The digital visionary on her latest AI-assisted album and NYC jazz collective ahead of the week’s Red Bull Music Festival events.

Kicking today’s show off is Isaiah Bar and Austin Williamson of the downtown NYC jazz ensemble Onyx Collective. Alongside similarly minded acts like Standing on the Corner, the core members of Onyx Collective and its rotating cast of bandmates - including Nick Hakim, Princess Nokia, Dev Hynes (Blood Orange), Wiki (RATKING), and more - are a driving force behind the new jazz renaissance sweeping Manhattan. Accustomed to performing impromptu sets in unusual locations, the ensemble presents a signature improvisational set featuring a host of NYC musicians this week at East River Park as part of Red Bull Music Festival. In the second hour of the show, we listen to Vivian’s recent conversation with the Avant-Garde pop artist and electronic composer Holly Herndon, who debuts her new, multi-sensory live show PROTO at this year’s Red Bull Music Festival. Spending her career exploring the intrinsic connection between modern human and machine, her productions feature electronic instruments, organic sounds, and digitally processed vocals merged in a dense, sonic haze. Recently she released her futuristic pop album PROTO, which features fellow futurist Jlin, a handful of vocalists, and Spawn, the AI recording system “raised” by Herndon and her husband, digital artist Mat Dryhurst, to mimic, interpret and develop musical ideas. Over the course of the album, Herndon examines our relationship to technology and presents a narrative where human agency is regained by embracing the power of AI, rather than fearing it.


Engineered by Ryan Woodhall
Produced by Sara Casella

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