In the author’s work as a composer, he explores how state-of-the-art digital sound analysis can change how we listen to music. The Happy Valley Band (HVB) is a product of this exploration and encompasses a repertoire of microtonal deconstructions of pop songs, an open-source software suite and a dedicated performing ensemble. This article documents the author’s experience and artistic practice within this project—a process of translation between digital analysis, human listening and written notation, in which a machine-learning algorithm is trained to hear pop songs and the results of the machine-learning process are transcribed into musical notation and performed by instrumentalists.

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