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An Artist with a Boundless Vision: NOANNE on debut single “Goodwill”, AI-assisted creative process, and more [exclusive interview]

The use of Artificial Intelligence in the arts is something that’s been heavily discussed online; that’s not news. If you’ve spent any time on Twitter in the last several months, you may have gotten lost in the “should/n’t” of it all—in visual arts, in publishing, in education, in music, in film, you name it. You may even remember the AI-related aspects of the SAG-AFTRA strikes, the results of which are believed to set a precedent for other industries moving forward. However, like with all hot topics on social media, we feel it’s important to dive into the details and have conversations about a topic in order to fully understand it.

This belief led to us connecting with NOANNE, a Prague-based artistic multi-hyphenate who is able to “[shed] the veil of self-consciousness and [step] into the spotlight of pure artistic expression” through an immersive, AI-augmented creative process grounded in her love of the arts—film, theatre, and, of course, music.

Having just released her debut single and accompanying music video last month, we took this opportunity to explore NOANNE’s creative process, the conversations surrounding AI in the arts, “Goodwill”, and the transformative journey the artist has been on since her project’s inception—as well as the dedication it took to put in 50+ hours into a single music video (and in just three days!).

Introducing NOANNE and her debut single, “Goodwill”

AM: Hi! Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us! Would you please take a moment to introduce yourself to our MendoWerks readers?

NOANNE: Hello, and thank you so much for this opportunity to connect. I’m NOANNE, an artist who finds profound joy and purpose in the fusion of music, theater, and film. My journey in the arts is not just about creating melodies, but weaving together experiences that touch the soul and ignite the imagination.

With my debut single “Goodwill,” I embarked on an adventure that combines these artistic elements with the fascinating world of AI. This blend is more than a mere experiment; it’s a passionate endeavor to explore how technology can amplify human emotion and storytelling in art. My approach is about creating a tapestry of sounds, visuals, and narratives that resonate on a deeply personal level with my audience.

Each project I undertake is a piece of my heart, a reflection of my journey, and an invitation to listeners to embark on a journey of their own. It’s a path marked by introspection, innovation, and the desire to push the boundaries of conventional artistry. I strive to create music and experiences that are not just heard, but felt–not just observed, but lived.

So, to all the MendoWerks readers, I extend an invitation to join me in this exploration of art and emotion, as we delve into the realms of the known and the unknown, the seen and the unseen.

AM: Last month, you released “Goodwill”, which came with quite a captivating music video. When you first embarked on this artistic journey, did you anticipate just how involved things were going to get–and so soon? (e.g., the 50 hours you and your team spent shooting–across only three days!–that went into the “Goodwill” video. That is quite the feat!)

NOANNE: Embarking on the journey of “Goodwill,” I stepped into a realm far beyond what I had imagined. The creation of the music video was an unexpected turn, evolving into a profound and transformative process. Initially, I hadn’t envisioned a visual counterpart to the song. But, as the concept developed, it became clear that a music video was essential to fully express the narrative and emotion embedded within the music.

NOANNE: The challenge lay in translating the nuanced feelings and themes of “Goodwill” into a visual format. It wasn’t just about finding a team skilled in video production. It was about finding collaborators who could deeply resonate with the song’s spirit and bring it to life visually. The search for the right team was a journey in itself, marked by a desire to find individuals who could not only understand, but also amplify, the song’s essence.

When the final treatment arrived, admittedly later than expected, it was nothing short of revelatory. The comprehensive 95-page document crafted by director Sasha Needmor and producer Sonya Sepmanson was a masterclass in creative vision. It detailed every aspect of the song, delving into the nuances of each line, each melody, proposing a visual narrative that was both ambitious and deeply resonant.

This treatment wasn’t just a plan for a video; it was a mirror reflecting the song’s soul, its depth, its emotion.

This moment of clarity was profound.”

NOANNE: This moment of clarity was profound. I was holding a blueprint that resonated with every fiber of my being. The video’s production, a formidable 50-hour endeavor over three days, became a testament to our commitment to authenticity and artistic integrity. Every member of the team poured their heart and soul into this project, resulting in a video that wasn’t just a visual accompaniment to the song but an extension of its narrative, an embodiment of its emotion.

The journey with “Goodwill” taught me that sometimes the most unexpected paths lead to the most memorable experiences. It was an intense, immersive, and ultimately rewarding endeavor that set the tone for my artistic journey.

Watch the video for NOANNE – Goodwill via YouTube

AM: Would you give us an idea of what those days looked like? Did you ever sleep?

NOANNE: Reflecting on the ‘Goodwill’ video shoot, I’m struck by how it was both a test of our endurance and a testament to our collective passion for art. The process was transformative, converting an old, deserted sanatorium near Borjomi into a hauntingly beautiful representation of the afterlife. The meticulous repurposing of an antique furniture restoration studio in Tbilisi was equally mesmerizing, infusing the space with a unique blend of history and creativity.

The shoot spanned three days, each presenting its unique set of challenges and learning experiences. The first day was particularly grueling, stretching over 26 hours, including a 3-hour journey to and from the location. We filmed through the night, contending with intermittent rain and the biting cold.

Despite the challenging weather conditions, the team’s dedication never wavered

We found ourselves managing complex lighting arrangements and dynamic effects, all while shrouded in smoke and battling the chilly 3°C temperatures. The intricate costumes and detailed makeup required careful attention, a challenge compounded by our efforts to stay warm, huddling in blankets between shots. The sanatorium, with its hidden perils like unseen holes in the floor, demanded our utmost caution, especially under the cloak of darkness.

“Reflecting on the ‘Goodwill’ video shoot, I’m struck by how it was both a test of our endurance and a testament to our collective passion for art.”

NOANNE: The second day, predominantly an indoor shoot, offered a different kind of challenge. The location, a vast and eclectic antique shop in Tbilisi, was like stepping into another world. It was a filmmaker’s paradise, filled with everything from vintage mirrors to old carriages.

The night shoot, though less physically demanding than the first, still required a high level of focus. We continued to work with complex lighting and camera angles, ensuring each shot not only captured the visual beauty, but also the narrative essence we were striving to convey.

On the third day, it felt like the universe was rewarding us for our hard work. A shorter, 6-hour shoot during the day, in the beautiful backdrop of the ‘sea of Tbilisi,’ was a serene and fitting conclusion to our intense journey. This day was not just about wrapping up the shoot. It symbolized the transition of ‘Goodwill’ from a mere concept to a tangible piece of art ready to be shared with the world. That day marked both the end of a challenging yet fulfilling filming process and the beginning of ‘Goodwill’s’ journey into the hearts and minds of its audience.

Want to get to know the artist further? Watch the video below.

NOANNE on AI-assisted creative processes

AM: According to your artist biography, ‘NOANNE’ is the result of combining a deep-rooted love of various performing arts–theatre, film, music–with AI. How were you first introduced to the world of AI (in the arts)? Why did you decide to use it yourself?

NOANNE: My introduction to AI in the arts was an extension of my fascination with the intersection of technology and creativity. I’ve always been intrigued by how technological advancements can enhance artistic expression. The real turning point came with the director of “Goodwill”, who introduced me to the potential of AI in visual storytelling. His previous work and vision showed me how AI could add layers of depth and nuance to our narrative, bringing a new dimension to the traditional storytelling in music videos.

AM: What are the specific ways that you use AI across different aspects of your project? Are there any specific tools you’ve found most useful–or any that you avoid? Why?

NOANNE: In my project, AI is primarily used to augment the visual storytelling – it’s about adding layers to the narrative that would otherwise be unattainable. It is about telling stories that resonate with more intensity and nuance.

I avoid any tools that might infringe on the integrity or originality of the work.

AI, for me, is a means to enhance, not replace, the creative process. It’s a delicate balance of using technology to support the artistic vision without letting it overpower the human essence at the core of my work.

Basically, it’s an extension of my artistic voice, not a replacement. 

AM: Lately, there’s been pushback against the use of AI in a variety of creative sectors, as well as calls for government-sanctioned regulations of these tools in order to mitigate copyright infringement, among other harms. Do you have thoughts on this issue that you’d like to share? Do you believe that there is a way to ethically use AI tools that have been trained on copyrighted materials–or, perhaps, a way for creators that use AI in their work to better protect against (unintentional) infringement? 

NOANNE: The dialogue surrounding the integration of AI in the arts is both intricate and crucial. We’re at a crossroads where technology’s role in creativity is being redefined, and it’s imperative we approach this with care and consideration. AI, in my view, should be a conduit for artistic exploration, an extension of the artist’s imagination, not a replacement. It’s about harnessing these tools to expand our creative horizons while upholding ethical practices.

NOANNE: Using AI ethically, especially when it intersects with copyrighted materials, requires a thoughtful approach. It’s about striking a balance where AI assists in the creative process without undermining originality.

For creators using AI, there’s a responsibility to ensure that their use of these tools respects the integrity of existing works while fostering their unique voice and vision. It’s a delicate dance of innovation and respect, one that challenges us to redefine the boundaries of creativity responsibly.

AM: Are there any misconceptions or specific critiques about the use of AI in the arts that you’d like to address? 

NOANNE: There’s a narrative that suggests AI could dilute the essence of art, that it might diminish the artist’s role. In my journey, AI has been a partner in the creative process, a source of inspiration that pushes the boundaries of what’s possible. It encourages me to venture beyond conventional methods, to blend traditional artistry with futuristic visions. AI is a collaborator that challenges me to explore new territories in expression, to bring to life visions that might have been inconceivable.

This partnership with AI is not about replacing the human touch; it’s about augmenting it, about exploring the synergy between human emotion and technological potential.

AM: What is next for you as ‘NOANNE’? Anything exciting on the horizon for 2024? …more music, perhaps?

NOANNE: As I look towards 2024, my heart is brimming with excitement and a sense of boundless possibility. The journey ahead is filled with music that seeks to connect, to resonate at a deeper level. I’m passionate about crafting songs that explore the depths of the human experience, melodies that resonate with the soul’s whispers.

I’m thrilled to share that the next step in this journey includes the release of my second single coming in January 2024. This new release promises to continue the exploration of deep, emotive themes. I can’t wait for everyone to hear it. So, definitely stay tuned for that!

While AI will continue to play a role in augmenting the visual narrative of my work, the core of my music will always be rooted in the richness of human emotion and experience. I’m excited to explore the intersections of technology and tradition, to see how far we can stretch the canvas of creativity. The goal is to create music that not only entertains but also inspires and challenges, music that echoes in the corridors of the heart and mind.

In this modern world, the possibilities are endless, and I am eager to dive into them, to see where this fusion of art and technology can take us.

Keep up with NOANNE:

Instagram | Facebook | YouTube | TikTok | Twitter

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