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Still from Canto Cocktail showing the back of a woman and a man holding hands and facing the sea. While their heads are cut off from the screen, they are seen to be dressed in white and beige attire. Active karaoke lyrics is placed at the bottom, where a green dot above the words indicate the timing to sing. The lyrics read「明日我似斷難斷 一生什麼可以恨」, which translates to 'Tomorrow I may not be able to call it quits; what is there to hate in life'.

Henry Chu:
Canto Cocktail

Henry Chu:
Canto Cocktail

11 Dec 2020

Mix a Cantopop cocktail with Henry Chu’s special recipe. Canto Cocktail is a karaoke generator that uses computational algorithms to compose new medleys based on excerpts of 120 Cantopop songs. Drawing on shared cultural memories, it offers an affectionate commentary on this popular genre. The project also reflects the increased use of machines for music-making and hints at a future era when computers can be creators rather than just tools.

Explore the Work

Read the Written Response

We invite you to explore the work deeper. Veteran radio DJ and music critic Wong Chi Chung wrote My Cantopop Stories: Four Snapshots, where he selected four iconic Cantopop songs from Henry Chu's playlist and shared his personal stories in relation to the songs and singers.

About the Artist

Henry Chu is a Hong Kong–based designer, programmer, and media artist. He graduated from the Electrical and Computer Engineering programme at the University of Auckland and founded pill & pillow in 2004. The independent studio has won more than 170 local and international awards including recognition at the Cannes Lions, Webby, and One Show. His iPad music app Squiggle was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. He has been a speaker at Business of Design Week, TEDxKowloon, and TEDxTaipei.

About Digital Commissions

M+ is committed to providing platforms for projects by creative practitioners who propose new frameworks and discussions for visual culture. M+ launched its ongoing series of digital commissions in 2018 to address aspects of digital culture today, pointing to new, pressing lines of enquiry. The experimental, browser-based works in this series explore the intersection of visual culture and technology, encompassing data visualisation, interactive design, gamification, and creative technology.

Image at top: Henry Chu. Canto Cocktail, 2020 © Henry Chu