Summer Arts Japan 2017 “Ushikai”

The 2020 Initiative group at the Tokyo University of the Arts’ (TUA) COI Site has been trying to orchestrate a new kind of performance that integrates sports, arts and science, with special cooperation from Yamaha Corporation, a COI member company since 2016.

This year, we staged a performance of a story based on the legend of “tanabata” written by Mr Yumemakura Baku, a writer and essayist. On stage, we placed an automatic playing piano developed by Yamaha Corporation which senses the movements of the badminton players and translates it into a beautiful tune. The sound was reminiscent of shooting stars and captivated the audience. At the end of the performance, all artists including the Geidai philharmonia orchestra played Ravel’s “Boléro” to Mr Eitetsu Hayashi’s Japanese drum, as well as the AI system that can play the sound of the snare drums, which has evolved through practice. This powerful finale which showed a new relationship between humans and AI was a fitting end to the performance.

Like last year, Brother Industries Ltd provided technical assistance (AiRScouter). In addition, we introduced a set of clothes that can measure biometric information (smart clothes) developed by COI Active-For-All Site (Ritsumeikan University and Juntendo University), making the performance more evolved than ever before.

We are now less than three years away from the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. The 2020 Initiative group is expected to continue contributing even further to create a culture-rich country through new cultural programs.

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