How can a musician perform without worrying about the audience and themselves? And how is that possible taking into account the measures taken because of the COVID-19 pandemic? Singer, author and poet Ekotumi came with a solution where you can enjoy a performance of her performance that includes Japanese-style contemporary opera and dance in a hologram-style.
In a video, Ekotumi presents the hologram performance, titled SUKUNABIKONA -Japanese little god- (コロナ歌舞ホログラム -リトルゴット 少名毘古那-), which can be seen at Shibaura House in Tokyo. The hologram can be watched from all sides, 360 degrees, as demonstrated by the musician herself.
A hologram performance may not be a unique idea, but this set-up where you can watch a performance alone or with a number of people and where you are automatically encouraged to move around the object, to see all the corners of her performance, does make it unique and intimate. In our experience, where we have to stay at home most of the time because of the pandemic and are not allowed to go out and have fun without worrying, this is a perfect example of how you can create something out of the box and still present your performance in a different way than just on a flat-panel display like we are allowed to enjoy music nowadays, via a live broadcast on your phone, tablet or computer being dependent on a good internet connection.
The performance is based on a story about Sukunabikona, a Shinto kami of the onsen, agriculture, healing, magic, brewing sake and knowledge. Ekotumi explains that the kami is small enough to wear butterfly wings and is responsible for the creation of the country together with Okuninushi (Onamuchi), who is enshrined in Izumo Taisha. Furthermore, she clarified that this music piece was a new challenge for her: “In order to represent the ancient times, we did not use chordal instruments for the music, but created the melody of the song based on the human voice.” The male voices that you hear are not singing, but reciting a dialogue.
Ekotumi started as a singer for movie soundtracks while still a student, graduated from Waseda University and has appeared in numerous stage musicals. Furthermore, she has been active with live performances, promotional videos, image songs and theme songs for games. Ekotumi has performed in several countries around the world, including the United Kingdom, Dubai, Lithuania, Switzerland, Belgium and France.