Blob Opera is just what we needed for 2020

Blob Opera is an experiment in machine learning by David Li and Google.Google

December 15, 2020

For fans of the interactive treat Adult Swim Choir, its creator has just come out with an even more addictive time-waster: Blob Opera. It might be just what we needed to help distract from the misery of 2020.

Created by David Li with Google Arts and Cultures, Blob Opera asks users to click and drag on a gelatinous blob that plops down on a virtual stage. A robust bass voice bursts out. Vertical movement changes pitch; horizontal alters the vowel sound.

Then another blob drops, this one a tenor. And then a mezzo-soprano. And, finally, a soprano. Before long, they're all harmonizing in a bizarre faux opera that sounds surprisingly alluring. You're the conductor.

Better yet, there's an option for the holidays to hear the jiggly quartet sing from a selection of Christmas tunes, including "Silent Night," "Jingle Bells" and even "Once in Royal David's City." They definitely put the "ooooh" in Yule.

You can record your experimentation and share the results on social media.

Unlike Adult Swim Choir, Blob Opera can't be embedded here. But go to Google's site to try it now.

Have fun!

By the way, Blob Opera used real opera singers in its creation. Google explains:

We developed a machine learning model trained on the voices of four opera singers in order to create an engaging experiment for everyone, regardless of musical skills. Tenor Christian Joel, bass Frederick Tong, mezzo-soprano Joanna Gamble and soprano Olivia Doutney recorded 16 hours of singing. In the experiment, you don't hear their voices, but the machine learning model's understanding of what opera singing sounds like, based on what it learnt from them.

Here's more about what Blob Opera is, how to use it and how it was created: