Midjourney AI turns David Bowie songs into music videos
But this is the first time I’ve seen one of them used to turn full songs into pictures, and the results are so perfect that I’m convinced the real killer application of this technology lies dormant in the music archives of David Bowie.
You do not believe me ? This is Bowie”Spatial oddity“, created by YouTube user don’t help. Their process was to type the lyrics of the song into the AI prompt, verse by verse, to generate each frame of the video.
You know what I mean?
Of course, Midjourney, Dall-E and Stable Fusion will one day leave the strange valley and provide an endless source of perfect photos that will look as convincing as the real thing. This is also a big downside to all this fun: these tools are essentially leveraging the existing work of designers and photographers who receive no license fees from AI in a rapidly evolving field that will have negative downstream effects for the industry.
But, for now, this video demonstrates that the often supernatural results of AI are still limited: well suited to poetry and fantasy literature, but nothing too literal. This seems to be the idea that prompted aidontknow to turn some of Ziggy Stardust’s songs into musical slideshows.
Aidontknow used the same methodology in Midjourney to create this rendition of “star man.” The video description indicates that there is minimal change and influence from the author, which I found necessary when I tried to do the same thing using Midday in Discord.
Sometimes a verse will use the word this to refer to an object or person named earlier in the song, for example, so I had to swap this back to the more specific subject name so the AI can identify what “it was”.
I only tried a few verses per song to get an idea of how it worked with different tracks. But using Midjourney for this task was exhilarating: all I did was paste the lyrics, and the images slowly materialized before my eyes without any further effort, like a genie emerging from a lamp.
And indeed, I discovered that there seems to be a clear correlation between beauty and surrealism. The pictures of Tom Waits”Alice(the results shown on this paragraph) were as magical as the song itself:
It’s a dream time
We are on [first image]
You waved your crooked wand
Along an icy pond
With a frozen moon [second image]
A silhouette murder
crows i saw [third image]
And the tears on my face
And the skates on the pond
They spell Alice [fourth image]
I got equally fantastic results for The Beatles”across the universe“and the Rolling Stones”give me shelterwhich also have some pretty visually evocative lyrics. The magic also worked for Snoop Dogg’s poppy R&B riffs”Drop it like it’s hot.”
Sometimes the AI made mistakes in the literal interpretation of words. As in Waits”Tom Traubert’s Blues“, the line” See you tomorrow, hey Frank, can I borrow / A few dollars from you? turned the money into a literal male deer. (A “buck” I suppose.) Which, mind you, actually adds to the lyricism of it all. As Bob Ross would say, “There are no mistakes. Just happy accidents.