Sister City

In collaboration with Ace Hotel and experimental electronic musician Julianna Barwick, we used Microsoft AI to create a generative soundtrack for Ace’s new property in NYC, Sister City.

At the intersection of hospitality, design, and technology, the generative soundscape echoes both Sister City’s ethos of simplicity and purposefulness, and its environment, New York’s Lower East Side.

“Circumstance Synthesis” brings elements of the outside in; it relies on a roof camera to capture various events that influence the score, like airplanes, birds, clouds, and the sun or moon rising.

Our technologists trained Microsoft’s Computer Vision API to identify these objects, which in turn trigger different sounds from Julianna’s composition in the lobby below. The result is a score that’s constantly remade, informed by the world around the hotel.