Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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‘Now and Then,’ the Beatles’ Last Song, Is Here, Thanks to Peter Jackson’s AI

We’re excited to share the latest news from the world of music. After a long wait and a lot of anticipation, the Beatles’ “last song,” titled “Now and Then,” has finally been released. This beautiful and haunting track, featuring the vocals of all four original Beatles, was made possible through the use of artificial intelligence technology developed by filmmaker Peter Jackson for his documentary series, Get Back. With its mesmerizing combination of piano and strings, this song is a true testament to the power of technology in the world of music. Join us as we delve into the journey of how this AI technology rescued and brought to life the lost gem of the Beatles’ final recording.

‘Now and Then,’ the Beatles’ Last Song, Is Here, Thanks to Peter Jackson’s AI

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Background on the Beatles’ Last Song

The release of “Now and Then,” the Beatles’ last song, has created a buzz among fans and music enthusiasts alike. This highly anticipated track features all four original members of the iconic band and was made possible thanks to the innovative AI technology used by filmmaker Peter Jackson on the documentary series Get Back.

Peter Jackson’s AI Technology

Peter Jackson, known for his work on films like the Lord of the Rings trilogy, utilized AI technology during the production of Get Back. This cutting-edge technology allowed him to separate and extract individual instruments and voices from the original recordings of the Beatles. Jackson’s team developed this AI technology as they were working on the documentary, which is based on footage from 1969 capturing the band’s creative process during the making of their album/concert/film, Let It Be.

‘Now and Then,’ the Beatles’ Last Song, Is Here, Thanks to Peter Jackson’s AI

This image is property of media.wired.com.

The Journey to Save ‘Now and Then’

The story behind the resurrection of “Now and Then” spans several decades. After John Lennon’s tragic death in 1980, his widow, Yoko Ono, informed Paul McCartney of a demo tape Lennon had recorded at their New York City apartment in the Dakota. In the 1990s, when the surviving members McCartney, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison were working on the Anthology records, they attempted to salvage “Now and Then” from an old cassette. However, the vocals were obscured by the piano sounds, and the technology at the time was not advanced enough to isolate them.

For years, “Now and Then” remained unfinished and in limbo. It wasn’t until 2022, while working on Get Back, that Peter Jackson and his team successfully used AI technology to separate the different elements of the recording, including Lennon’s vocals. This breakthrough allowed the song to finally be completed and released to the world.

The Role of AI in the Song’s Salvage

AI played a crucial role in salvaging “Now and Then.” By utilizing machine learning algorithms, Jackson’s team was able to analyze the audio recordings and separate the individual instruments and vocal tracks. This process required the AI to recognize and isolate specific frequencies and patterns associated with each element of the song. Through advanced algorithms and neural networks, the AI technology learned to differentiate Lennon’s vocals from the rest of the music, ultimately making it possible to extract and enhance his voice.

Without the advancements in AI technology, it would have been nearly impossible to rescue “Now and Then” from the confines of the old cassette. This breakthrough showcases the immense potential of AI in music production and restoration.

‘Now and Then,’ the Beatles’ Last Song, Is Here, Thanks to Peter Jackson’s AI

This image is property of media.wired.com.

Reactions and Hype

The announcement that “Now and Then” was saved using AI technology generated significant excitement and anticipation among both Beatles fans and technology enthusiasts. Paul McCartney’s revelation in an interview with BBC Radio 4 ignited a wave of speculation and curiosity.

The use of AI in salvaging the song was met with a positive reception, as it was seen as a tribute to Lennon’s experimental spirit and willingness to explore innovative recording techniques. Fans and critics alike appreciated the technological feat, viewing it as a fitting way to honor the legacy of the Beatles.

‘Now and Then’ Music Video Release

Alongside the release of the song, a music video for “Now and Then” directed by Peter Jackson was unveiled on YouTube. The video blends old Beatles footage with new visuals, creating a nostalgic and immersive experience for viewers. The video provides a captivating visual representation of the song, enhancing its emotional impact and further engaging fans.

‘Now and Then,’ the Beatles’ Last Song, Is Here, Thanks to Peter Jackson’s AI

This image is property of media.wired.com.

Streaming and Performance Stats

Since its release, “Now and Then” has gained significant traction on streaming platforms. The song quickly amassed 5.5 million plays on YouTube alone, showcasing the enduring popularity of the Beatles and the excitement surrounding their final collaboration. Additionally, the music video garnered over half a million views in its first two hours on the platform, illustrating the immediate impact of the release.

The availability of “Now and Then” on Apple Music and Spotify has provided fans with multiple avenues to enjoy the song. This widespread availability further contributes to its success and ensures that fans from all corners of the globe have access to the Beatles’ last recorded piece.

The Significance of ‘Now and Then’

“Now and Then” carries immense significance as the Beatles’ final song. Its completion allows fans to hear the legendary band perform together one last time, preserving their unique sound and capturing a moment in music history. The haunting and melancholic tone of the song resonates with both long-time Beatles fans and new listeners, showcasing the enduring relevance of their music.

The release of “Now and Then” is a testament to the power of AI technology in music restoration and revitalization. It demonstrates how innovative tools can be used to salvage and enhance recordings that were previously deemed irreparable. The successful rescue of this iconic song opens up possibilities for future projects and the potential for AI to breathe new life into lost or unfinished musical works.

‘Now and Then,’ the Beatles’ Last Song, Is Here, Thanks to Peter Jackson’s AI

This image is property of media.wired.com.

The Potential of AI in Music

The use of AI in “Now and Then” highlights the immense potential of this technology in the field of music production. AI algorithms have the ability to analyze and manipulate audio recordings in ways that were once unimaginable. From enhancing vocals to isolating instruments and removing unwanted noise, AI enables artists and producers to create richer and more immersive musical experiences.

Furthermore, AI can assist in the creative process by generating musical compositions, helping with songwriting, and even simulating the sound of specific instruments. This opens up new avenues for collaboration and experimentation, pushing the boundaries of what is possible in music creation.

While some may view AI as a threat to the authenticity and human element of music, the successful application of AI in “Now and Then” demonstrates that it can be a powerful tool for artists to enhance and preserve their work.

Looking Back at the Beatles’ Legacy

The release of “Now and Then” serves as a poignant reminder of the Beatles’ enduring legacy and their profound impact on the world of music. The band’s groundbreaking sound and innovative approach to songwriting continue to inspire generations of musicians.

As we reflect on their final masterpiece, it is evident that the Beatles’ influence and cultural significance remain as strong as ever. The successful collaboration between Peter Jackson’s AI technology and the remaining Beatles highlights the timeless appeal of their music and showcases how innovation can breathe new life into beloved classics.

In conclusion, the release of “Now and Then” represents a significant milestone in music history. The combination of the Beatles’ unparalleled talent and Peter Jackson’s groundbreaking AI technology has resulted in the preservation of a lost gem. This achievement paves the way for the future of AI in music and offers a glimpse into the potential of technology to revive and enhance recorded works. As we celebrate the legacy of the Beatles, we look forward to the continued exploration of AI’s role in shaping the future of music.

Source: https://www.wired.com/story/the-beatles-now-and-then-last-song-artificial-intelligence-peter-jackson/