|On December 6, 2004 the first public performance
of Yamaha Vocaloid that we know of, took place. It happened in
Novosibirsk, Russia in the Main Concert Hall of State Philharmony
on the event called "Polyphony Studio 5th Anniversary Concert".
This 4 -hour concert was hosted by the manager and sound engineer
of Polyphony Studio Yuri Isakov in an unusual style of a
"Recording session in a studio".
Among the participants, featuring well known Novosibirsk bands and
musicians like The Vladimir Tolkachov Big Band, The Pavel Sharomov
Vocal Band, Alexander Tourigin's Romantic Jazz Quartet, The
Novosibirsk Youth Symphony Orchestra, The Novosibirsk University Choir
and The KrAsota ensemble, Natalya Soboleva, Roman Stolyar and many
others, was one very unusual artist - Yamaha Vocaloid. It performed
the song "Sad Mondays" *, (Tune - R.Dattatreya, Lyrics - I.Fomchenkov,
Arrangement - A.Ustinov). The vocal performance, done with the voice
of Miriam was accompanied by live musicians Alexander Bazanov (drums),
Artyom Lapin (bass), Eugene Kolmakov (guitar) and Nikolay Panchenko
(saxophone). As you understand, this is the experiment in the inverted
use of "minus 1" recording. Usually such track has everything but the
voice, but here it was the other way round, with everything save for
the voice done 100% live.
During the song, which was greatly enhanced by equally impressive
and sensual dance performance by artists Ekaterina Basalaeva and Olga
Sheina (courtesy of Vampeter theater) a phone connection was
established with New York City, and the song author, the president of
Jasmine Music Technology Dr. Ravi E. Dattatreya expressed his delight
in the fact that his song was performed in public by such an unusual
artist. He said: "We at Jasmine Music are now working to improve this
technology. I am glad to be part of the first public performance of
Vocaloid! Please tell the audience that this is an experiment, and we
ask their forgiveness in advance." Dr. Dattatreya also thanked the
musicians, the dancers and the audience and wished them all a Happy
The audience's reaction to this performance was rather
controversial, ranging from "This can't be!" and "Great, now a robot
can sing!" to "This is pointless, because it's interesting to no one"
and "There's no room for robots among live musicians!" Fully realizing
the reason for such reaction, the main thing should be noted - the
first public performance of Vocaloid Miriam has now become a fact. How
natural and close to the real thing this artificial vocal is - well,
that's a different question. We have witnessed another type of virtual
objects/models entering our life. And it's apparent that this process
can't be stopped now, for every step in developing computer
technologies sets the mark in competition between a human being and a
robot (or a piece of software) higher and higher.
Just a few seconds to go - the musicians are making their final
And the band played on...
The universal language of dance...
In the middle of extravaganza... Miriam is out there!