By Andrew Hamlin
Northwest Asian Weekly
In an era of auto-tune, lip-synching, pre-recorded vocals, pre-recorded imposter vocals, and huge video screens dwarfing human performs, Hatsune Miku has to be the next step in the evolution of live shows. She doesn’t actually exist.
The Hatusune Miku Expo, coming to Seattle on April 23, comes from the minds at Crypton Future Media, a Japanese company from Sapporo. Her name translates as “first sound from the future.” Her voice comes from Japanese actress Saki Fujita. Her design comes from manga artist Kei Garō.
Explains Kanae Muraki from the Crypton team, “Hatsune Miku is a voice singing synthesizer software. When it comes to a concert, we pick up songs, mostly based on popularity among our fanbase, to make a setlist. And our concert tech team works for making the entire plan for a stage production.”
The Expo has already visited several Japanese cities, as well as Taipei, Shanghai, Indonesia, New York, and Los Angeles.
Opening for the virtual singer is Anamanaguchi, a New York City band heavily influenced by J-Pop and video game music. The projected images of Hatsune Miku and a few of her “friends” will also interact with live musicians onstage.
“Each city has new challenges,” concludes Muraiki. “Having such a big event in foreign countries is always tricky for us. However, fan’s reactions are superb in all locations!”
The Hatsune Miku Expo plays April 23 at Seattle’s WaMu Theater.
Andrew Hamlin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.