Melanie Wilson presents Dreaming Species

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An online listening experience reimagining human and animal connection. Dreaming Species can be experienced online now on

About the Project

Dreaming Species is a listening experience designed for headphones, conceived and created by Melanie Wilson.

Across three episodes, this dream-like piece embarks on a journey into a world in which human connection to animals is re-imagined using the processes of machine learning. To engage with the crisis of biodiversity loss in the UK, Wilson collaborated with an AI neural net, using the voices of animals at risk of extinction and human voices, creating a new sonic language.

Combining multi-part vocal music, animal and machine voice, text and binaural recording techniques, Dreaming Species is the opening creative chapter of a multi-year research process, in which Wilson has explored the possibilities of machine learning to imagine new sonic meeting grounds for human and animal narratives.

Project background

Wilson collaborated with PRiSM – the RNCM Centre for Practice Research in Science and Music, to create the machine-generated voice in this project. She also collaborated with singers Peyee Chen, Adey Grummet, Simone Ibbett-Brown and Melanie Pappenheim to create elements of the music through improvisation.

This work was funded by Arts Council England and created as part of Sound and Music’s New Voices programme, of which Melanie was a 2020/21 selected composer. It is produced by Fuel.

Credits and thanks

Conception, score, text, voiceover & sound design: Melanie Wilson Singers Peyee Chen, Adey Grummet, Simone Ibbett-Brown and Melanie Pappenheim

Neural net training voices: Peyee Chen and Héloïse Werner

Neural net programmer: Dr Christopher Melen Video artist Akhila Krishnan

Website design, identity & additional video design: Graeme Swinton

Music facilitator: Yshani Perinpanayagam

Mentor to Melanie: Dr Sam Salem

Produced by: Fuel Recorded at Urchin Studios, London 

Warm gratitude to the vocal collaborators and musicians who have developed ideas with Melanie: Benoît André, Michael Betteridge, Sarah Cameron, Kate Huggett, Rosie Middleton, Robin Morton, Edmund Phillips and Rose Stachniewska.

A huge thank you for support and catalysis Emily Howard (Director PRiSM), Laonikos Psimikakis Chalkokondylis (Sound and Music).

Thank you to ASDP for binaural head loan. 

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