Friday, November 12, 2010

Hatsune Miku is a Truly Virtual Musician

A few months ago, a friend of mine asked if I would be interested in performing as a hologram in front of a live audience. Of course I did! I just wondered if I'd live long enough to get to do that.  As it turns out, you don't have to be "alive" at all and the wait is over.

A hologram of Crypton Media's imagined vocalist Hatsune Miku performs to live, screaming crowds in Japan. She's a truly virtual musician - or as her name indicates perhaps she is the first sound of the future.

Hatsune's secret sauce is an artful alchemy of Yahama's Vocaloid technology, a smooth set of recorded vocals, a few sprigs of sultry manga, a fistful of fan art tied together with a 2D hologram-esque projection. Take it all on tour and you've just created a pop music sensation - minus the diva.

This is what it looks and sounds like.

Okay, so the 2D hologram looks better than CNN's election stunt. But as the Metro put it:
‘The 3D “hologram” isn’t that impressive... but the crowd reaction is intense. How must it feel to be a musician and see this virtual character getting way more love than you?’

If you can't get enough of Hatsune, put her on your holiday list - DVDs of her live performances will be available soon. If you are more in the mood for a little action - forget Call of Duty 2 - you can spend your holiday gift card on Sega's Vocaloid Project Diva: Dreamy Theater for PS3, or grab the Diva 2 add ons for PSP (you may need a friend in Japan).

Hatsune's 16 year old school girl sound is not one for me, and her fan base isn't quite Beiberlicious .. yet.  

What's certain is that the blended professional, technical, creative and consumer co-creative team "powering" Hatsune has given us a new lens on the future of co-created music and virtual musicians.

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