A total of 27 people from the Tokyo University of the Arts (TUA), including a team of students from the Faculty of Music led by Kazuki Sawa, President of TUA; students from the Department of Animation in the Graduate School of Film and New Media; as well as the COI Site’s Research on synesthetic media group, and the University of Southern California (USC) collaborated to perform “Vivaldi’s ‘The Four Seasons’ live animation concert” at the Aratani Theatre in Los Angeles on 13 January. In addition to the two universities, “Japan House Los Angeles”, an overseas hub of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, joined the performance as a co-host.
At the concert, an AI-based “score-following” technology, jointly developed by the Research on synesthetic media group and Yamaha Corporation, was used for the first time globally. The AI (Artificial Intelligence) in this system can detect which part is being played in that moment during a live musical performance, and based on that information, it can play the film (animation) in sync (patent pending). This system has been tested at events such as “JST fair 2018” and this US premier performance became the first step to its worldwide debut. On the day, all 900 seats prepared were fully occupied, and after the performance we had a huge round of applause which demonstrated the high level of interest and praise for our live animation concert using human-friendly AI technology.
To celebrate the success of the concert on 13 January, the members of the TUA were invited to the Residence of the Consul General of Japan in Los Angeles on 14 January and received congratulatory words from many stakeholders. On 15 January, there was “An Evening of Animation: Student Works from Japan and the US” in the Japan House LA located in Hollywood, where the COI’s development technologies were thoroughly displayed.
This US premier concert was immediately featured on NHK news as well as on international media. The fact that this joint performance with a historic and prestigious USC ended successfully, in Hollywood, an iconic place for film and media, is important to us. Going forward, we hope to deepen the connection between music and animation, for mainly classical concerts, and create borderless new art and development technologies to give further back to society.