Friday, October 10, 2014

Hatsune Miko on Letterman

So, this happened. The singer is Hatsune Miko, a popular avatar from a singing synthesizer program. Some you might know that David Letterman is stepping down soon (in favor of Stephen Colbert), so we can only assume that he either no longer cares or his long-repressed interest in holographic characters representing singing gynoids representing 16-year-old girls can finally be indulged.

My limited research into her hasn't yielded who owns her, who "manages" her, and who creates the story behind her. My first response was negative; I don't think anyone will be surprised when I refer to 16-year-old female characters designed by straight guys as "dick accessories."

When I watched her performance, I didn't know that she was a part of a complicated voice program, so I was confused about why she had a live band. After a little research it makes sense. I also wondered how she could perform. I know that being a hologram that makes sounds is completely reasonable, but could Dave interview her? Could they do a script linked to a real person manning a soundboard? Or could someone "wear" her as a real-time avatar?

She vanished immediately after the performance, giving me the impression that either she couldn't speak--only sing--or that the time allotted to her appearance was best spent singing.

But was it a real performance? What does a live performer have that a virtual one doesn't? Were people just showing up to watch a pre-recorded hologram, a thousand viewers on a single A/V stream like an incredibly expensive, inefficient YouTube?

I'm slightly ashamed to say that I never asked these questions about live performances of Dethklok or Gorillaz, but the questions stand. According to the Wikipedia entry on virtual bands, some of them actually have numerous pre-recorded options which depend on audience response.

I suppose that audience interaction is an important part of any performance, but another part is the varied, non-studio rendition of songs. There's musical extemporization and an "uglier" quality to the sound which, because of their imperfections, makes a concert a concert. I'm sure that the most satisfying balance of personal interaction/musical variance is probably different for each concert-goer, but I still wonder if it can be met by recorded elements.

Is it the same?


SkilTao said...

It took me a moment to recognize that sound as language, and a moment more to recognize that language as English.

I generally dislike "Talk-Show" performances, they rarely rise to the level of concert performances... would be cool if an algorithm randomly altered each rendition of the song, to make each performance more unique.

Glad to hear Colbert is getting the spot. Didn't know Gorillaz had a lady monkey.

VanVelding said...

Yeah. I think she's the adorable one that does the flip-kick on the zombie ape in "Clint Eastwood."

It's strange that I've never read into their mythology but their videos and visual design define each character so well.

Or at least give a confident feeling of having them defined.