by Mariko Oka

The Japan premiere of the innovative android opera Scary Beauty by Keiichiro Shibuya, Osaka University's Hiroshi Ishiguro, and University of Tokyo's Takashi Ikegami took place in July ’18 at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo.

In Scary Beauty, Shibuya and a human orchestra played music under the baton of the "lifelike" humanoid robot "Alter 2," which generates motion patterns based on its internal state and external stimuli. Only the lyrics, melody and number of bars were input into Alter 2 beforehand. The android leads tempo and volume of music in the performance, and Human can only follow it. Thus the audience witnessed music being created in real time by human musicians being conducted by artificial intelligence.

The sight of Alter 2 picking up the tempo during the performance with a seemingly ecstatic expression on its face was somehow beautiful but also chilling. The audience probably felt a strange sensation when the music which was set up prior to the actual performance sounded so beautiful. 

Ishiguro said in the interview that the android's performance was an eye-opening experience for him. "Watching the android conduct made me aware of the significance of (human) conductors. We can learn many things by replacing people with androids."

Shibuya also said that the project was meant to break new ground in music by showing audiences a world that couldn't be seen with only human performers. "I wanted to try to move people with something created by a non-human being.” It'll be fascinating to witness how people will react to future performances as the interaction between human beings and technology evolves.

https://youtu.be/ePIYMN6gbzs



Also in News

Sensual Swiss Skyscrapers: Giger in New York
Sensual Swiss Skyscrapers: Giger in New York

by Renzo Adler 0 Comments

No artist has captured the eroticism of death and the organic quality of machinery quite like HR Giger. New York's Lomex gallery (86 Walker St # 3, New York, NY 10013) is featuring work from the legendary artist. Running until April 2, HRGNYC features sculptures, prints, and original drawings by Giger spanning his entire career.
Read More
Review: Project A-Ko on Blu-ray
Review: Project A-Ko on Blu-ray

by Renzo Adler 0 Comments

Often our fond memories of cartoons or movies from our youth are protected by the haze of memories, and we have to decide whether to keep it tucked away in that fond miasma or bring it back out for reappraisal. This all sounds very weighty, but I’m talking about a cartoon where schoolgirls perform wrestling moves on giant robots. When I first saw a preview screening of the restoration of Project A-Ko at Otakon 2021, it was with some trepidation. Would this seemingly frivolous anime from 1986 still hold up?
Read More
Phantasmic Photo Tour: Tokyo in January
Phantasmic Photo Tour: Tokyo in January

by Renzo Adler 0 Comments

Travel is a little tricky right now, but while on assignment in Tokyo, Phantasmic was able to take in the sights of the city.
Read More

x