“These hands will never grasp your hands…” So go the poignant English subtitles for Japanese vocaloid and global pop star Hatsune Miku‘s ‘Until I Make U Smile,’ released as one of two 360° videos today in the lead up to her upcoming Still Be Here performance at London’s Barbican Centre on February 26.
Commissioned by transmediale and CTM Festival in 2016, this will be the third iteration of the installation and collaborative performance, developed collectively by artists Laurel Halo, Mari Matsutoya, Darren Johnston, Martin Sulzer and LaTurbo Avedon, as part of a residency at Metal Liverpool, and performed at CTM and Krems’ Donaufestival that same year.
“She is both the receptive and reflective vessel of her fans; a depository for the emotions, ambitions and talents of would-be pop songwriters, producers and recording artists; a voice singing songs written by the masses, for the masses.”
The music of ‘Until I Make U Smile,’ along with ‘As You Wish,’ is made up of original compositions and visuals by the aforementioned group of artists but with lyrics collected from the songs of the various parallel and fan-created personalities of Hatsune Miku. That’s from the stereotypical teen girl tropes of “love, longing, cute boys, general insecurity” to the logical outcome of so much manipulation and control with “a fair amount of angst over impermanence and power imbalance within her songs.”