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### Utilizing AI, Warner Music Revives European Singer’s Voice and Image for Movie

Warner Music is partnering with production company Seriously Happy to resurrect the voice of Edith …

In an upcoming feature-length active video, Warner Music has unveiled plans to utilize AI technologies to restore the legacy and image of the renowned French designer Edith Piaf. The forthcoming project, named EDITH, is a collaborative effort between Warner Music Entertainment and production company Really Happy, in partnership with the Piaf family.

The 90-minute film EDITH will chronicle the life and journey of the beloved songstress as she navigated from Paris to New York. Narrated by a digital replica of Piaf’s voice, the storyline will unveil previously undisclosed facets of her life.

As per a press statement, the AI models employed to underpin EDITH’s narrative underwent training on a plethora of audio clips and visuals featuring the late French singer-songwriter to “amplify the authenticity and emotional impact of her story.” Moreover, the narrative may incorporate renditions of her iconic songs from the Warner Music archive, such as “La Vie En Rose” and “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien.”

The portrayal of the artist’s life will blend graphics with archival footage, including snippets of her stage performances, television appearances, interviews, and personal archives. Julie Veille, known for her works on French music legends like Stevie Wonder: Visionnaire et prophète, Diana Ross, suprême singer, Sting, and l’électron gratis, is the author of the EDITH project. Veille and Gilles Marliac penned the script, in collaboration with Warner Music Entertainment President Charlie Cohen. The team has formulated the concept proof and is poised to partner with a studio for the full-fledged production.

This venture marks a continuation of utilizing AI replicas to bolster a film’s narrative. The documentary Roadrunner (2021) on the late chef and TV personality Anthony Bourdain notably employed AI to replicate Bourdain’s voice for a brief segment, where a synthesized Bourdain recited a letter he had penned during his career.

Recent years have witnessed the resurgence of deceased personalities through physical AI and CGI in films, including Carrie Fisher, Harold Ramis, and Paul Walker. The upcoming film Up to Eden is set to feature the recreated likeness of James Dean, who starred in only three films before his demise in 1955.

The EDITH project likely heralds a new era where AI is harnessed to rejuvenate the musical legacies of yesteryears and rekindle interest in departed artists. Notably, the voice of the late South Korean folk artist Kim Kwang-seok has been recreated by HYBE-owned AI voice production company Supertone, while Tencent’s Lingyin Engine gained acclaim for generating “synthetic voices in tribute to renowned artists” like Teresa Teng and Anita Mui.

Veille expressed profound gratitude for the opportunity to collaborate with Edith’s Estate in ushering her story into the modern era. The project aimed to ponder what insights Edith would impart to younger generations if she were alive today, underscoring her narrative of resilience, defiance of societal norms, and enduring relevance. The objective is to share her remarkable story with audiences across generations, leveraging cutting-edge animation and technology.

The trustees of Edith Piaf’s estate, Catherine Glavas and Christie Laume, remarked on the emotional resonance of the project, stating that the technology enabled them to feel a profound connection with the late artist. They anticipate that through the stunning visuals and portrayal of her spirited personality, humor, and unwavering spirit, audiences will glimpse the true essence of Edith.

Alain Veille, CEO of Warner Music France, emphasized Edith’s enduring legacy as a source of immense pride for the French populace. The collaboration with Edith’s estate was approached with utmost reverence, recognizing the delicate balance of integrating new technologies with the legacy of iconic figures. The narrative of Edith Piaf is one that merits retelling, and through this cinematic endeavor, a new audience will be introduced to her story, fostering inspiration and admiration for her artistry.

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Last modified: February 26, 2024
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