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Concert for the Dead

Technology has not played too much of a role in the music industry once you set aside auto-tuning and basic equalizer options. That is until now. A mere few years ago, once an artist passed away, there were no more concerts to be had. Now, everything has changed. What we’re used to seeing in Star Wars, we’re now seeing “live” on stage.

Holograms seem to have taken over the stage, most recently with a Tupac performance at Coachella. Coachella is a music arts festival held in California.

Concert goers were astounded to see Tupac Shakur, who was shot and killed in 1996, very much animated and moving on stage with Snoop Dogg. The quality of the hologram was so great that  the illusion given off was that Tupac was alive and very much present at the concert performing alongside other famous rappers.

How they did this is actually pretty simple, but it somewhat takes away from the hologram, sic-fi aspect of it. See, the image projected wasn’t actually 3-D. The image was 2-D. How they did it was they projected an image onto a mirrored floor on the stage. This mirror was then reflected onto a clear plastic film where the whole movement was seen. More details on how it was done can be seen here.

So what does this mean with the music industry? It means more collaboration for starters. For example, Justin Bieber is rumored to be performing with Elvis, and Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, who dies ten years ago yesterday, will be projected into the TLC world tour.

Also, it means music could be moving more to a completely synthesized talent. In Japan, engineers have developed a completely synthetic performer who sings, dances, and sells out arenas like nobody’s business. Hatsune Miku is her name, and if you’re familiar with any japanimation, she appears to be straight out of Final Fantasy or Kingdom Hearts.

Much like Tupac, Hatsune is created and then projected on plastic film. Her voice is even fake. By using small samples from a Japanese actress, Saki Fujita, engineers have also been able to produce melodies and harmonies making this performer completely man-made. A video of her performing can be seen here.

Is this the way of music’s future? At least that way, the singer will never be sick, live forever, and not come with humanly flaws. Maybe this could be a good thing.

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