Android Opera “Scary Beauty” (2018〜)

TITLE: Android Opera “Scary Beauty”
ARTIST: Keiichiro Shibuya(Concept・Composition・Direction・Piano) + Alter2 (Vocal・Conduct) + The Volunteer Orchestra of Students and Graduates at Kunitachi College of Music(Orchestra)

Develop for Android:Hiroshi Ishiguro, Kohei Ogawa
Program for Android:Takashi Ikegami, Itsuki Doi
System Architect and Electronics:Hikaru Kotobuki

Symbol zone(ground floor), Miraikan(National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation
Sunday July 22, 2018 20:30~

The work is the newest version of the Android Opera “Scary Beauty”. A prototype of the opera was performed in Australia in 2017, successively the newest work was performed as a public program of the ALIFE 2018(International conference of artificial life research)in Miraikan for the Japan premiere and the world premiere.

A humanoid android with AI “The Alter 2” conducts a human orchestra consisted of 30 members and sings with them. The android leads tempo and volume of music in the performance, and Human can only follow it.

It is an opera showing fatalistic future where humans cannot live without technology they generate. It is a metaphor for transitional circumstances around the relationship between human and technology.

Keiichiro Shibuya is in charge of composition and piano. The android decides tempo, volume and singing expression beyond human imagination. It means that the music proceeds to bring out new abilities of composed music works, at the same time, destroying it all.

The project was started when “The Alter 2” created by Hiroshi Ishiguro (a worldwide robot scientist, Osaka University) acquired an autonomous AI program generated by Takashi Ikegami (a worldwide artificial life scientist, The University of Tokyo). Conspiracy and Competition among AI and artificial life brought by Hiroshi Ishiguro and Takashi Ikegami, the music brought by Keiichiro Shibuya and human orchestra, will renew the relationship between music and human.

The text of opera consists of some extracts from extremely critical texts and statements; a curious love song by Michel Houellebecq, the last novel written by Yukio Mishima just before his suicide, cut up texts by William Seward BurroughsⅡ and etc. One of the updated sections of this work is composed of extracts from the last work by Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein “On Certainly”. The words of extracts are analyzed and converted into three-dimensional vectors by a converting program “Word2Vec” and the converted components correspond to pitch, length and strength of the music. Consequently, a new music work is generated automatically from texts. This new work will be performed in the opera.

The android sings “The Last 7 Songs of Human”, it would generate new feelings with terror and excitement in human. This opera is not a monochronic story and does not progress chronologically. In the near future the AI in android will be able to choose and to cut up the parts to perform in real time, deciding tempo and volume of the music. This new way makes it possible to realize a new opera to fragment and to integrate accidentally some different stories and music.