Data-Driven Duet Charts Lennon and McCartney’s Tumultuous Relationship
As with any relationship, the friendship of John Lennon and Paul McCartney wasn’t all smooth sailing. Their partnership led to plenty of iconic songs—as well the occasional snarky letter. In honor of the 60th anniversary of their meeting in 1957, a composer from Plymouth University has used an algorithm to compose an epic duet charting their history.
For one hour on February 26, a pair of singers will perform a classical song with lyrics sampled from 156 McCartney songs and 131 Lennon songs. According to Plymouth University, the a cappella show, titled "Come Together: The Sonification of McCartney and Lennon," will provide "a new insight into the relationship of Paul McCartney and John Lennon." Each singer will stand in for one of the Beatles, and express their emotions to fit the character.
The words for each part weren’t selected arbitrarily. Rather, composer Dr. Alexis Kirke used an algorithm to sift through and analyze various lyrics. He then used the data to create a song that marks the pair’s high points (the early days; Beatlemania), as well as their low points (their break-up; Lennon’s death). The free performance will be held at The House theater at Plymouth University in the UK.
[h/t The Creators Project]