Opus Cope: An Algorithmic Opera

David Cope was commissioned to write an opera in the 80's when he suffered a major composer's block sparking interest in an algorithmic partner named EMI, Experiments in Musical Intelligence, that could generate compelling works in the style of western classical music composers. Widely recognized as a pioneer of artificial creativity, David wields a body of work that spans art, astronomy, and literature, in addition to music. Featuring excerpts from the completed opera, the algorithmic composer imagines creativity through human and machine perspectives.

  • Jae Shim
    Director
  • Jae Shim
    Writer
  • Alex Tao
    Producer
  • Jae Shim
    Producer
  • Alex Tao
    Executive Producer
  • Jae Shim
    Camera
  • Anthony Bari, Jr.
    Camera
  • Dean Ishida
    Production Sound
  • Jae Shim
    Editor
  • Mike James Gallagher
    Supervising Sound Editor
  • Jonathan Kutner
    Colorist
  • David Cope
    Participant
  • Keith Muscutt
    Participant
  • Mary Jane Cope
    Participant
  • Bernard Greenberg
    Participant
  • V.J. Manzo
    Participant
  • Chris Garcia
    Participant
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Feature
  • Genres:
    Music, Science, Artificial Intelligence
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 13 minutes 8 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 13, 2021
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Rock This Town Film Festival
    Pau
    France
    November 13, 2021
    International Premiere
    Jury Prize Winner
Distribution Information
  • Indie Rights
    Distributor
    Country: United States
    Rights: Video on Demand
Director Biography - Jae Shim

Jae Shim is a Korean American filmmaker searching for music in underground rivers and lakes on the highest peaks. He is a Warner Bros. Emerging Film Directors Workshop finalist and makes his feature film debut with 'Opus Cope: An Algorithmic Opera,' a documentary on the imaginative work of algorithmic composer David Cope.

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Director Statement

Perhaps in a distant future populated by humanoid beings, this film will serve as a sacred document of early machine creativity, comparable to viewing our own humble beginnings on a prehistoric cave wall. And maybe they will consider David Cope a champion of their creative ancestors, someone who paved the way for machines to imagine dreams of their own. David himself has always welcomed new perspectives on creativity even though controversy seems to find him. My own takeaway is that we humans are not as original as we think we are but still capable of highly creative works. I would like to believe that an individual’s unique attributes such as personal experiences, suffering, and dreams are what set apart the good from great works of art, qualities that cannot be imitated...yet.