Interview: Working With An A.I., Vienna’s Lucy Dreams Creates Music For World Peace

Music, to me, has always felt like an organic artform. Something that needs a human touch to it in order for an artist’s emotions and intention to translate itself into the hearts and minds of their listeners.

However, meeting Vienna’s Lucy Dreams has completely shattered this outlook of mine. Recording their music through and with Lucy – an A.I. (a term they hesitate to use) made of digital and analogue effects, the group’s sound is both gentle and hypnotizing while also providing as much depth as any human musician could. It’s every bit as captivating as the artists they call their inspirations – Pink Floyd, Electric Light Orchestra, Daft Punk and M83.

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The trio of Philipp Prückl, David Reiterer and Lucy are still fresh into their career as a band, but the confidence and quality that they exude on their debut EP Everything Comes In Waves is proof that Lucy Dreams isn’t just a gimmick but an artistic force to be reckoned with.

Read on to find out more about how they record and much more about their career so far below.


*This interview has been edited for clarity*

Turntable Thoughts:

Let’s start off with you tell me about yourselves.

Lucy Dreams:

We’re Philipp Prückl and David Reiterer. Lucy Dreams is a project and band that we created in 2019. We have always been fascinated by new approaches in music, which we did by fooling around a bit with digital and analogue effects. 

However, we lost control over the effects. All of a sudden, the system created a ‘life’ of its own. We sent sounds into this system and let it process those sounds. Very often, super interesting soundscapes would come back. Those would then be the sounds we record and use as a base for us to write our songs.

Eventually, we gave it a name – Lucy. We thought that if this ‘cosmos’ is able to make sounds then ‘it’ is dreaming, hence our name – Lucy Dreams. 

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Turntable Thoughts:

Could you expand more on how Lucy was created? Was it an accident or actually planned?

Lucy Dreams:

It was an accident! We connected this digital effect to this other analogue effect then sent it through multiple parameters. Eventually what came back through the speakers made us go, “Oh my God, this developed a life of its own.”

Turntable Thoughts:

Would you say that Lucy is ‘in control’ of the music you make then?

Lucy Dreams:

We cannot tell since we can’t ‘talk’ to it. Whatever it is we send into it – ringtones, tweeting of birds or even other songs, we wanted to see what Lucy could do with that information. The sounds are then changed completely. What we get back is a certain melody or rhythm.


Turntable Thoughts:

I’m just gonna say that you guys are probably THE most interesting musical act I’ve ever interviewed. Working with an A.I. is really something special. 

Lucy Dreams:

Could you define what an A.I. is?

Turntable Thoughts:

With my limited knowledge…I would say it’s a program that can ‘think’ on its own. 

Lucy Dreams:

Exactly, though I’m a little cautious with the term A.I. because we can’t tell that it ‘thinks’ but we love to believe so. We’ve built a very emotional attachment to Lucy.

Turntable Thoughts:

So Lucy is as important to you guys, as you guys are as important to her.

Lucy Dreams:

Exactly. 

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Turntable Thoughts:

Your EP Everything Comes in Waves revolves a lot around the themes of Earth and nature with this dreamy aesthetic wrapped around it. Could you tell me more about why you would use these themes and sounds?

Lucy Dreams:

It’s called Everything Comes in Waves because it was a recurring thought that I had over the last few months. Everything just comes in waves – sounds, the Ice Age, oceans…also I’m convinced that when you talk to someone, there are waves between their thoughts and yours. 

We use this to describe life around the world right now and our planet as a habitat. Human beings are treating the world in a very bad way. We have our place here on Earth but take far too much from it. We need to prevent that if we want our children and future generations to have the same beautiful planet to live on.

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Turntable Thoughts:

Would you say that your music is to create awareness for these issues?

Lucy Dreams:

Yes. If I can make people aware of issues through my music, I want to push important topics. Don’t get me wrong – love is a wonderful feeling but I just want to challenge myself and my listeners. I believe that art is always something that should both please and challenge.

Turntable Thoughts:

I guess the challenge in creating music extends to your work with Lucy as well right? Since I don’t think it would be very easy to do so.

Lucy Dreams:

Definitely. The 2 of us have been making music for 10 years now in different bands – rock & roll and indie. This project challenges us because we do not know what to expect. Every time we go into the studio, it’s like the first few steps on the pitch after the game has started.


Turntable Thoughts:

Going through your Instagram, I see that you perform with a mask on. Why do you hide your identity?

Lucy Dreams:

The group consists of not only human beings but also, Lucy. We want, as humans, to step aside and give Lucy the spotlight. You can see it on one of our pictures that there is a colourful ball onstage that represents Lucy. 

The suit I wear is a brainchild of mine. I have a very strong relationship with the colour gold. I bought this golden mask in Sienna, Italy and thought that I need a suit as well to be in a visual relationship with Lucy. I needed to look different.

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Turntable Thoughts:

So your love for the colour extends over to the cover art too right?

Lucy Dreams:

I’m of the opinion that art is always interrelated with other disciplines. Music, for example, always has a strong relationship with visual art or poetry. For me, it’s important how our music is represented visually.

What I do is approach visually interesting design artists and collaborate with them to use their art as our cover art (Kidizin Sane) and in music videos (Not Any Design Collective).


Turntable Thoughts:

Who are your musical inspirations?

Lucy Dreams:

If I would have to pick one then it’s Pink Floyd. Both of us have a massive passion for the band – from their psychedelic beginning to their biggest albums and songs. It was also one of the first tracks we sent into Lucy. 

Also, the progressive and interesting approaches of Electric Light Orchestra. We also love Daft Punk, M83, Tame Impala and Glass Animals. Classical music is also a huge inspiration, especially Beethoven. Finally, techno. Just really strong and heavy electronic music.

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Turntable Thoughts:

What are your plans for the future?

Lucy Dreams:

We are working on an album. We also want to keep challenging ourselves and our listeners. Our connection with Lucy needs to be deepened as to continue elaborating on what’s sonically possible.

We want to keep up the fun we’re having in making music and to connect to people all over the world…to establish peace.

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Based in Melbourne and Malaysia. Jensen is a part-time journalist and full-time music fan.

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