SYLVAN - The Dilemma of Artificial Intelligence

20. June 2021


SYLVAN - Das Dilemma der künstlichen Intelligenz

Hamburg art rockers Sylvan have become experts in concept albums: With "Posthumous Silence" they set standards in this discipline 15 years ago, and their last album to date, "Home" (2015), also followed a consistent basic idea. Now they have once again presented a work in which a story is told: "One To Zero", with which they musically tread somewhat different paths than on the predecessor, describes the development process of an artificial intelligence from the initialization to the self-determined reset from their own perspective. In an interview, singer and lyricist Marco Glühmann, keyboardist Volker Söhl and bassist Sebastian Harnack talked about the background of the new album and their rejection of musical pigeonholes.

There are bands that write the lyrics first and then the music; for others it's the other way around. Sylvan belong to the second category: "We always work in such a way that the music is there before the concept and the lyrics, at least sometimes in a rudimentary version", explains Volker Söhl, who composes almost all the pieces in the group. It's all the more surprising that concept albums, of all things, have become a specialty for Sylvan. "When it comes to concepts and lyrics, I'm usually the driving force," Marco Glühmann tells us, giving an insight into his working method: "I always need a central idea for my lyric ideas. I just find it easier when you have a thread to hang along."

And so it was again with the now tenth studio album "One To Zero" (see box), which reflects the development of mankind from the perspective of an artificial intelligence. The special and exciting thing about it: The story differs strikingly from well-known human-machine dystopias like "Terminator" or "Blade Runner", in which computers and robots or androids turn against humans: Here, the greed and egocentrism of humans make the AI doubt its destiny and perceive it as too big a burden ...

SYLVAN - ONE TO ZERO - official Trailer

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