About

Hi there! Valerio Velardo here. I focus on building AI audio/music products, and researching and consulting in the AI audio/music space.

In 2016, I co-founded and led Melodrive as CEO. At Melodrive, we built the first AI music engine that generates video game music in realtime. The generated soundtracks evolve endlessly and adapt their emotional features, based on the narrative and visual state of the game.

The journey with Melodrive brought me to Silicon Valley, where I raised a VC round and got in love with the startup world. Coming 2020, we sold the company and I started a new journey.

Pitching Melodrive at Boost VC Demo Day  (Tribe 10) in California.

I’m now consulting and freelancing in the AI audio/music space. If you’d like to know more about what I offer, please check out the Services page.

In parallel, I work as a Senior Data Scientist for Musimap, where I develop all sorts of Machine Learning algorithms for analysing and making sense of music.

Starting from January 2020, I launched The Sound of AI YouTube channel, where I regularly publish educational material on technical and business aspects of AI audio/music.

As a spin-off to the channel, I launched The Sound of AI Slack Community, which now features ca. 2K members featuring learners, practitioners and researchers in AI audio/music.

I’m currently leading OpenSource Research. This is an experimental project which aims to create a piece of collaborative research in the field of AI music. Hundreds members of The Sound of AI community collaborate to carry out research, following the philosophy and practices of open source software and crowdsourcing. As part of this project, I’m developing new project managing techniques necessary to coordinate hundreds of people, who work remotely on a voluntary basis.

You may be wondering about my background. Well, I have a PhD in AI Music (what a surprise!). I studied both music (composition, conducting, and piano performance) and astrophysics at degree and Masters’ levels. I have been involved with programming and AI since I was a teen. I carried out research in music cognition and am passionate about philosophy of science and all nerdy things.

Agile methodologies, clean code, test-driven development, and the lean startup are my obsessions.  I’m a fervent believer in open source / open science.

Now you should know more about me than most people out there!

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Here you can find a selection of my recent activity with a focus on academic and musical production, public speaking and event organization.

Selected talks

  • AI (Audio) at University vs AI (Audio) in the Real World: Challenges, Pitfalls, and Opportunities. SCML Group Webinars (2020)
  • Can we teach machines to become the next Beethoven? Athens Deep Learning Meetup (2020)
  • Interview on the Coding Entrepreneurs Podcast (2020)
  • Creativity, Music and AI with Valerio Velardo. The Mind Takeaway Podcast (2019)
  • Melodrive: Deep Adaptive Music for VR. VRBLN Audio Focus Meetup (2018).
  • Deep Adaptive Music: Using AI to Soundtrack Video Games. Berlin Music Information Retrieval Meetup (2018).
  • Deep Adaptive Music for Seamless Immersion. GameSoundCon (2018).
  • The AI Music Revolution: Giving Music Superpowers to Users Music, AI & Creativity Meetup (2018)
  • How important is music for immersion in VR? VRBerlin Meetup (2018).
  • Deep Adaptive Music: The Ultimate Frontier of Machine-Generated Music? Conference on Computer Simulation of Musical Creativity (2018).
  • What’s the impact of music in VR? EmoJam2 (2018).
  • AI Music Composition in Virtual Reality Republica (2018).
  • AI created music for games and film Panel organised by Berlin Music Commission (2018).
  • Deep Adaptive Music: When Humans and Artificial Intelligence Collaborate to Score Video Games Digital Music Seminars at Technical University Berlin (2018).
  • AI Music: The New Frontier for Music Creation? Systematic Musicology Seminars at Humboldt University (2018).
  • Creating the Music of the Future: An alliance between humans and AI University of the Arts Berlin (2018).
  • Melodrive: Adaptive Music Generation for Interactive Media. AIExpo (2017).
  • Automatic Generation of Adaptive Soundtracks. Hybrid Music Lab Day (2017).
  • The New Alliance Between Composers and Machines: The Journey Towards Deep Adaptive Music. Berlin Music Commission (2017).
  • Rethinking (musical) creativity. 1st Conference on Computer Simulation of Musical Creativity (2016).
  • Composing a Rock Song Using Artificial Intelligence. European Researcher Night, University of Huddersfield (2016).
  • Will the next Mozart be a computer programme? Languages Festival, University of Huddersfield (2016).
  • Conducting for beginners. Heritage Quay, Huddersfield (2015).
  • Are computational composers really creative? 2nd Workshop on Philosophy of Human+Computer Music (2015).
  • Music, Memes and Mathematics. RMA Study Day: Music and Mathematics (2014)
  • Towards a Music Systems Theory: Can Music Possibly be Alive?. RMA Student Conference (2014). [pdf]
  • Quantifying the (Almost) Unquantifiable: A Formal Model of Musical Style. 12th Annual Conference of the Society of Musicology in Ireland (2014). [pdf]
  • Automatic Melody Composition and Evolution: A Cognitive-Based Approach. 9th Conference on Interdisciplinary Musicology (2014).
  • The Sound/Music Dilemma: Why is That all Music Is Sound but Only Some Sounds Are Music?. 1st Sound Ambiguity Conference (2014).

Publications

My interdisciplinary research on AI music, cognition, creativity and music theory has been published in prestigious international journals and conferences.

  • Schyff, Dylan, Walton, Ashley, Velardo, Valerio et al. (2018). Musical Creativity and the Continuity of Mind and Life (In review). Music & Science.
  • Elmsley, Andy, Groves, Ryan and Velardo, Valerio (2017). Deep Adaptation: How Generative Music Affects Engagement and Immersion in Interactive Experiences. In: DMRN+12
  • Velardo, Valerio (2017). Towards a Music Systems Theory: Theoretical and Computational Modelling of Creative Music Agents. PhD Thesis. [pdf]
  • Velardo, Valerio, Vallati, Mauro, and Jan, Steven (2016). The Impact of the Quality of Musical Performance on Aesthetic Assessment.
  • Velardo, Valerio (2016). Towards a Music Systems Theory.
  • Velardo, Valerio and Vallati Mauro (2015). Beyond Anthropocentric Creativity: a General Framework for Describing Creative Systems. In: Digital Creativity.
  • Velardo, Valerio, Vallati Mauro and Jan Steven (2016) Symbolic Melodic Similarity: State of the Art and Future Challenges. In: Computer Music Journal.
  • Velardo, Valerio (2016) Recursive Ontology: A Systemic Theory of Reality. In: Axiomathes. [pdf]
  • Velardo, Valerio and Vallati Mauro (2015). The Effect of Repetition and Expertise on Liking and Subjective Complexity in Contemporary Music. In: Proceedings of the 9th Triennial Conference of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music. [pdf]
  • Velardo, Valerio and Vallati, Mauro (2015) A Planning-based Approach for Music Composition. In: Proceedings of the 11th International Symposium on Computer Music Multidisciplinary Research. [pdf]
  • Velardo, Valerio and Jan, Steven (2015). Study Day on Computer Simulation of Musical Creativity. In: Computer Music Journal
  • Velardo, Valerio and Vallati Mauro (2015) On the Stylistic Evolution of a Society of Virtual Melody Composers. In: Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Evolutionary and Biologically Inspired Music, Sound, Art and Design. [pdf]
  • Velardo, Valerio and Vallati, Mauro (2014) Automatic Melody Composition and Evolution: A Cognitive-Based Approach. In: Proceedings of the 9th Conference on Interdisciplinary Musicology. [pdf]
  • Velardo, Valerio and Vallati, Mauro (2014) GenoMeMeMusic: a Memetic-based Framework for Discovering the Musical Genome. In: Proceedings of the 40th International Computer Music Conference. [pdf]
  • Velardo, Valerio (2014) The Sound/Music Dilemma: Why is That all Music Is Sound but Only Some Sounds Are Music?. In: Proceedings of the 1st Sound Ambiguity Conference. [pdf]

Press

Organizational responsibilities

I launched with Dr. Steven Jan both the Conference on Simulation of Musical Creativity (CSMC) and the Journal of Creative Music Systems. I’ve organised both the first and second iterations of CSMC. The conference and the journal have become the most important venues for researchers and professionals to discuss their research in Generative Music.

I’m a member of the steering committee of the Conference on AI Music Creativity and serve as co-editor for the Journal of Creative Music Systems.

I’m a reviewer for the journal Axiomathes and for a number of international conferences.

I’m the project leader of OpenSource Research, an experimental corwdsourced research project that features hundreds of members of The Sound of AI community.

Music

I specialised in composing acoustic music (piano, ensemble and orchestra), but I sometimes enjoy exploring electronic music. Apart from writing concert music, I composed soundtracks for a few video games. The pieces below are representative of my latest, more accessible, compositional style.

Fighting uses ideas from counterpoint, in an unconventional electronic setting. Searching for home is a deep emotional tune performed by a string section. Obsession aims to capture a psychotic mind state with piano sounds . Enjoy!