My friend Ernest and I went to a concert in which the music was played by robots. The band is called Z-Machines and the funny thing is that the robots do stuff like for example greeting the crowd before the concert or show gratitude at the end. The robots are programmed to speed up the beat of the songs or keep playing one more song if the crowd is loud enough. I didn’t really enjoy the music but it was fascinating to see so many people just hearing what some robots were programmed to play.
I took some videos with my camera and I have put them together with iMovie so you can have an idea of the concert atmosphere:
The matryomin is a musical instrument based on the theremin that is shaped as a matryoshka doll. It is interesting to see the video below with 167 Japanese women dressed in black moving their hands in the air in front of matryoshka doll, with stethoscopes and all of them crossing their legs… Let me say it’s a little bit scary! 😉
Last weekend we went to have a picnic in Yoyogi. While we were enjoying our time some really nice and lovely old grandmas approached us. One of them started to flirt with our friend Javi and when she found out that we were from Spain she started to dance flamenco until she tripped over and fell down to the ground. She immediately got back up laughing and kept walking around with her friends.
Our friend Yuko told us that, for the way they were dressing, these grandmas looked like they were part of an Osaka music band called “Osaka Obachan”. As we heard that we quickly googled the group in our smartphones and this is the first thing we found.
It turns out that they are a group of 47 idol grandmas, something similar to an old AKB48. In this video you can see them in action dancing and singing:
The Xmas video of Touchy Camera was just released. Touchy is a project by Eric, Tomohiko and Asia that experiments with the social reaction to “being physically touched”. Touchy can’t see (because of his helmet) unless somebody touches him creating a closed electrical circuit. The idea is difficult to explain so it’s better that you watch the video in which I make a brief cameo as a generic tokusatsu when Touchy gets confused and almost steals my scooter!
Capture of my cameo in the video 😉
Next year I will publish an interview with Touchy explaining more about the technology and the idea behind the project. Here you have one of the photos that I took during the interview with Touchy which I still have to edit.
@lapastillaroja sent me this promotional video for Sony’s EXTRA BASS headphones. The video features 47 girls coming from Japan’s 47 prefectures dancing in front of the camera with the headphones on. The first dance starts at second 27 with Honoka Irodori, the girl from Kyoto:
Perfume is a J-pop/electro/techno music group composed by three girls from Hiroshima Ayano Ōmoto, Yuka Kashino and Ayaka Nishiwaki. They founded the band in 2001 and they are right now one of the most popular bands in Japan. They are also starting to build an international presence, for example they made the song for the soundtrack of Cars 2 that is played in the movie when the cars are in Japan; the song is called Polyrhythm. Their coreographies, specially their “sweet dance”, has become an Internet phenomenon.
Do you like the music of Perfume? What are your favorite Japanese music bands?
Wadaiko Yamato is the name of a Japanese music group that uses taikos as their main instrument. Wadaiko (和太鼓) means “Japanese drum” and Yamato is the former name of Nara, the capital of Japan in the past. The band has been active for 20years, and it is still popular in Germany and Switzerland where this year they will play in different cities. In Tokyo they will play in September.
With this video you can have an idea of what they are able to do with some taikos, impressive!
Yodobashi Camera is one of the largest discount home electronics chain stores in Japan. After visiting a Yodobashi Camera store one of the things that you remember from the store is the atmosphere music. The original melody is catchy, sometimes you love it, sometimes you hate it… mostly when you are more than 10 minutes inside the store and it is played more than 10 times!
My quite free translation:
♪ The Yamanote line goes around in circles, the Chuo line cuts it in the middle, in the west exit of Shinjuku, there it is: Yodobashi Camera!
♪ In Shinjuku, where young people meet, there is a happy camera shop, there are also video cameras and watches in Yodobashi Camera!
♪ In the west exit of Shinjuku, there is a big camera store, there are also word-processors, there are also video games in Yodobashi Camera
♪ Good mothers, good fathers, good families, we have home appliances, that is our philosophy/motto, home appliances also in Yodobashi Camera
It turns out that the first Yodobashi Camera store opened in Nishi Shinjuku (West Shinjuku) in 1975, before that it was a simple camera shop located in the north of Shibuya. Nowadays there are 21 stores around different cities in Japan, among them the largest home electronics mall in the world.
Video with the most recent version of the Yodobashi Camera song.
A couple of photos of the first Yodobashi Camera, the one in the west exit of Shinjuku. It is the store that I usually go to.
I’m not much into music but lately I have been listening quite a lot to Sakamoto Ryūichi (坂本 龍一) music, as recommended by Joi Ito. Sakamoto Ryūichi is a Japanese musician and composer that has been active for almost 40 years; he started to be internationally known during the 80s when his electronic music band Yellow Magic Orchestra became popular all around the world.
During the last years he has focused his career on composing soundtracks for movies like The Last Emperor or Babel. Sakamoto Ryūichi is quite active in social circles with political connections in Japan, he stands for the abolition of nuclear power plants (since the Fukushima nuclear disaster) and the reform of copyright laws that are adapted to the new digital era.
AKB48 is one of the most popular music bands in Japan. It is formed by 48 girls that are divided in 3 subgroups of 16 members each. The latest news is that the group has a new idol, but it turns out that she is NOT real; she is a virtual idol whose face has been created by parts of the faces of the most popular singers in the group.
In this picture you can see the parts of the faces that Aimi Eguchi has inherited from her real band partners.
The name of the new virtual idol of AKB48 is Aimi Eguchi and her debut was in a TV commercial for Glico (a Japanese confectionery company).
In this video you can see some of the details of how Aimi Eguchi was created: