We Speak Music – the documentary series – is a groundbreaking, artistic collaboration between the international world-class beatboxer and visual artist – Harry Yeff (aka Reeps One) and the world-renowned, technological innovator – Nokia Bell Labs. This collaboration is an investigative journey of human communication offering insights into the voice from a scientific, cultural, technological and artistic perspective while using beatboxing as the ultimate exploration of its potential. The series raises many interesting questions about the importance we place on the human voice, its unstudied capabilities beyond speaking and the role it could play in an increasingly global society regarding interacting with machines. These questions are particularly prescient at this moment given the rise of voice-controlled technology.
Guided by the infectious curiosity of British artist Harry Yeff (aka Reeps One), a Nokia Bell Labs artist-in-residence, the series investigates how the beatboxing subculture is creating a nonverbal form of expression between global, online communities. These members use their ability to communicate ideas and feelings across linguistic boundaries, using just the human voice. Reeps One, inspired by his journey and the pioneering work of Nokia Bell Labs across many disciplines, created a spectacle performance using a sophisticated, deep learning Artificial Intelligence (AI) system. The result is amazing – a novel collaboration between the human voice and a technology that will soon be ubiquitous. The documentary culminates in a creative duet between Reeps One and his “AI digital twin” showing the true creative potential when we bring together the best of humanity with the best of technology. This performance takes the audience to a new hyper-functional and creative watershed, and more importantly, highlights how these collaborations have the potential to create profoundly emotional experiences.