Monday, September 22, 2014

Hatsune Miku - Virtualization in Concert Performances

     At Coachella 2012, Snoop Dogg (aka Snoop Lion), performed with a hologram of Tupac (aka 2pac). The virtualization was a crowd-pleaser that received praise in mainstream press and the blogosphere. Well, Hatsune Miku (aka 初音ミク) takes concert virtualization in a different direction. Similar to Coachella, it is a blend of virtualization and live performance. Unlike Coachella, this is not an extension of the performance life of an artist. Instead, it's the introduction of current performers who use a fictional star and processed vocalization in a concert environment.
     Hatsune Miku was "born” in 2007, but the technological phenomenon only recently made a significant splash in the United States. Hatsune Miku was the opening act for Lady Gaga during portions of May and June. On October 8, the technology will be featured on The Late Show with David Letterman.
     The persona of Hatsune Miku is a 3D projection of a sixteen year old girl with turquoise pigtails. The voice belongs to Saki Fujita, but with processing. Vocal samples that contain a Japanese or English phonic are captured at a controlled pitch and tone. The samples are patched together to form the lyrics of the music. 

     This virtualized reality can only be appreciated (or not appreciated?) by seeing it. So,....

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