Image credit: MIYAVI
Amazon Music Japan hosted an exclusive free performance on the Amazon Music app with Japanese artist MIYAVI. The show, titled “MIYAVI Virtual Level 5.0: Synthesis,” originally premiered on December 28 on Amazon Music’s Twitch and features songs from MIYAVI’s latest albums, Holy Nights and No Sleep Til Tokyo, and debut ground-breaking technology following an international collaboration with American directors Annie Stoll and Dyan Jong, Japanese production companies Mothership Tokyo and CyberHuman, and American virtual production studio Pyramid3. MIYAVI engages directly with fans as they respond to his music through their comments, to further his mission to highlight a desperate need for environmental and social change. Clips from the show will be available to stream on Amazon Music as singular performances and as a playlist, similar to a visual album.
As a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, MIYAVI utilizes his position to drive attention toward global issues of climate change, the refugee crisis, and educational and financial disparity throughout the world– issues further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. MIYAVI hopes to inspire a conversation with his fans and the public to engender continuous active change, increase awareness within their own communities, and transform local awareness into global change.
In MIYAVI’s own words: “This year, the unprecedented spread of diseases has transformed the global economy we had become comfortable in–as a result, it has become a year for musicians to reconsider the message we convey in our music. Climate change, refugee issues, hunger, poverty, inequality, and pandemic: look around. The world is on fire. How can we deal with the global problems we face? How can we commit to the future of the planet through music and art? There may be a limit to what we can do, but we may find a new way of life by fusing with technology.”
With creative direction driven by directors Stoll and Jong, the narrative follows MIYAVI’s journey through three acts; today’s apocalyptic landscape and his anxiety for the future, an isolated island where change is catalyzed from his will, and finally, a vibrant world of healing where change can occur. This all takes place within computer-generated sets developed in Unreal Engine by artist and technologist David Cihelna of Pyramid3, who previously created MIYAVI’s music video, “Need For Speed”.
Stoll and Jong also collaborated with EEG artist Bora Aydıntuğ to collect and interpret MIYAVI’s brain waves while he meditated on the future of the world. These visualized brain waves appear during the performance, where MIYAVI calls upon his fans to join him in healing the world with their united wills. By creating space for this conversation within an interactive medium, the performance highlights the ability of humans to empower each other to take actions within our community that can expand into a worldwide movement.
Because the project was developed during international quarantine, the crew pushed the bounds of collaboration: almost all of the artists involved worked in tandem from their own homes across the United States, Japan, and Italy, driven by the opportunity to redefine live production around a mindset of sustainability. In moving from physical to virtual production, the team utilizes significantly fewer resources and reduces the damage caused by noise, light, and physical pollution, and seeks to strengthen the conversation around the need for change at every level.