Afghan orchestra finds hope in Portugal as music dies in homeland – Reuters

LISBON, Dec 13 (Reuters) – When the Taliban seized power, Afghan musicians knew their futures were in jeopardy. Conductor Shogufa Safi, 18, escaped. Now in Portugal, her new home, she feels safe but her dream is to return one day and bring music back to her country’s streets.

“I haven’t had peace in my life yet,” an emotional but hopeful Safi said after she landed in Portugal’s capital Lisbon on Monday along with 272 other members of the Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM), including students, staff and relatives.

“My huge dream is to go back to Afghanistan…It’s a huge dream,” she said. “I believe that I’ll go back…and teach the younger generation.”

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Safi is one of the musicians in Afghanistan’s renowned all-female orchestra Zohra, part of ANIM. They have played at some of the world’s major concert venues, from New York’s Carnegie Hall to Oman’s Royal Opera House. read more

Portugal has granted asylum to all ANIM’s members and their immediate family, making it the largest rescue operation of a self-contained Afghan community since August’s takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban, the music institute said.

Under the Taliban’s repressive 1996-2001 regime, music was banned. Although the hardline Islamists have yet to formally reinstate the ban this time around, the Taliban have ordered radio stations to stop playing music in parts of Afghanistan.

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Google AI Tool Creates Music from Written Descriptions – VOA Learning English

This week, Google researchers published a paper describing results from an artificial intelligence (AI) tool built to create music.

The tool, called MusicLM, is not the first AI music tool to launch. But the examples Google provides demonstrate musical creative ability based on a limited set of descriptive words.

AI shows how complex computer systems have been trained to behave in human-like ways.

Tools like ChatGPT can quickly produce, or generate, written documents that compare well with the work by humans. ChatGPT and similar systems require powerful computers to operate complex machine-learning models. The San Francisco-based company OpenAI launched ChatGPT late…….


Bringing music to the masses… on a tram – BBC

French pianists, Hervé Billaut and Guillaume Coppola, brought a piano on to a tram in Nantes, as part of the opening of the annual La Folle Journée classical music festival.

They played to passengers all afternoon on Wednesday.

Mr Billaut said that they wanted to bring music to places you don’t expect it: “Perhaps someone, a child, a young person or a pensioner will have a musical shock.”