After an exhausting year, we’re now in the doldrums of 2020. The holidays are somehow here, and whether you’re off work, stuck inside after a snowstorm, or just stuck inside, period — you may be bored. If you’re annoyed with Cyberpunk 2077‘s bugs or watched so much Bake Off that you can’t even look at a pastry anymore, here’s a suggestion: Blob Opera.
You read that correctly: Blob Opera. A machine-learning experiment by David Li in collaboration with Google Arts and Culture, Blob Opera lets you compose and sing your very own opera with the help of four blobs: purple, bass; teal, tenor; green, mezzo-soprano; and red, soprano. The tutorial shows you how to vary both pitch and vowels that the blobs sing, all controlled by the higher voices — the soprano. You could even get funky and mute vocal ranges.
Four opera singers — tenor Christian Joel, bass Frederick Tong, mezzo‑soprano Joanna Gamble, and soprano Olivia Doutney — recorded 16 hours of singing for the experiment. Machine learning picked up on what operas typically sound like, making it possible for someone without any musical training to make the blobs sing what sounds like a pretty decent opera.
If you’re not in the mood to compose and just want to hear some excellent opera singing, good news: Toggle the evergreen tree at the bottom right to hear the blobs sing festive songs.
The list includes classics such as “Silent Night” and “O Come all Ye Faithful.” The blobs don’t sing the lyrics, but the songs still sound beautiful coming out of these odd shapes. It’ll put you in the holiday spirit in a year that desperately needs it. Even if it doesn’t, Blob Opera it’s a fun reprieve from the rest of the internet.