Sunday, 30 November 2014

Kids have so much to teach us.

This past week has been full of ups and downs.

There have been a few tense, trying moments (from my personal point of view, probably not the kids) and there have been a couple of days where I only wanted to go back to bed and start over. Sigh.

However, amongst the detritus, there have been a few stunning revelations. Yay!

My 10 year old son (ASD (PDA), Dyspraxia, SPD, CAPD, Misophonia, ADHD) showed me something that blew my mind!

I understand that technology is moving fast. I know that something becomes outdated within a matter of weeks. But this was other-worldly for me.

He showed me a video of Hatsune Miku (live) from 2013.

My first response, was along these lines, "Why, oh why, would people spend all that money to go and watch a hologram?! It's not even real".

And my response was countered by Dominik carefully, and knowledgeably explaining to me how this character (Vocaloid) was created.

Her voice is an entirely digital creation (as is she). She is entirely fictional. A 3D, singing, dancing fictional character on a stage, with an audience. (With a massive fanbase too that created a backstory and persona for her).

In the YouTube comments section, the top comment, by Kaito S, said this:

"For people that doesn't understand why other people would actually pay to see hologram singing and dancing, please let me enlighten you. But this might be a little long so I hope you bear with me :D
(I'd appreciate it if you would upvote this so this will remain at top of the comments for any newcomer to read.)

First off this is Vocaloid's concert, and Vocaloid long story short is a program with voice database inside where you can make songs by putting lyrics and melodies into it. Of course it is incredibly complicated as it has many parameters (like velocity, dynamics, breathiness, clearness, opening, gender factor, portamento timing, pitch end and ect) so its not as simple and easy as you think,

Anyone can practically buy a Vocaloid and make their own songs or cover songs. Users of Vocaloids can directly contribute by compose songs for any vocaloids, and by now (year 2014) the number of Vocaloid songs alone reach up to HUNDREDS OF THOUSAND, and yes I'm not kidding nor do I exaggerating things. Thier creativity doesn't come from a single mind like every other "real" artist, but rather is a collectives from their fans. That's why as long as their community is alive, Vocaloids will be alive as well. I'm even confident that Vocaloids such as Miku will keep going even after 50, or 100, or 200 years from now as she and any other Vocaloids are not shackled by reality. By now you should get my point that by being "not real" is their strongest weapon.

You might argue that their voice is terrible and you don't like it, well I have something to tell you: remember that Voclaoids are just a PROGRAM. So if you hate their voice its their "settings" or "parameters" that you actually hate. You will realise this if you listen enough number of their songs. Even though they are sung by Vocaloids, they sound uniquely different individually. This because each song has different composer, and each composer has their own unique parameter setting. So my point is don't hate Vocaloids, but hate the composer, like you don't hate guitar in general just because there is a guitarist you hate. Given enough effort and luck, you will surely find your favorite composer through out thousands out there :)

So the "thing" you see on that stage is not just a hologram, but a personification of creativeness coming from hundred of thousand of Vocaloid fans (And I should add that actually their fans count up to millions world wide). In a sense it really is a concert from Crypton Vocaloid fans, to their fans, and by their fans. Thats why they are not there simply to see the marveloussness of hologram technology like you think, Its more than that.

I would also like to add that if you search on Google: "Why Hatsune Miku popular" you would find an article from LA Times Magazines. It will give you more detailed and unbiased information around Hatsune Miku than me.

Lastly, whether you agree or disagree with me, please leave me a comment. I'd love to chat with fellow vocaloid fans and make any newcomer (or probably hater) to see vocaloid the same way as I do :)

P.S.: Damn, this is longer than I thought would be :P
-Written by +Clemens Cave 
-Edited by +Ratio Kun 

Ratio Kun / Kaito S Speaking here
Also if you are new to the Vocaloid I will welcome you, please tell me what you like otdislike about the concert or the Vocaloids in the comments, I would like to hear your opinions.

I will make a new post relating to more about the actual Vocaloids and some examples of their voices."

Dominik went on to show me more examples and enquire about the software used, whether his laptop could run the programme, how he would create the character to go with one of his own Vocaloids and generally how much he'd like to play around with it. Wow.

Who can ask for more than this? 
Genuine interest. 
Genuine learning. 
Genuine enthusiasm. 
A genuine desire to explore and expand his world (and ours I guess).

Who would have known a 10 year old could be this inspired? Especially a 10 year old, who, had he gone into traditional education, would have been classed as 'unteachable', 'disruptive', 'disengaged', 'distracted', 'disobedient' (hmmm..lots of 'dis' words in there) etc.

It turns out that he is none of those things. He is everything I, as his teacher, could wish for. 

So, yes, that's one thing down!

The second thing I learnt this week was from my middle son, Hannon, 7 years old. 

He taught me that birds and butterflies actually move as one (learned from 'Wild Kratts') the water in a wave, rather than as individuals in a group. Amazing and perhaps more than a little insightful. 

We had this discussion whilst driving back from Ampthill Park after we'd had a trek through the muddy woods and sat in the cafe watching the camera that is fixed on the bird-feeder.  

The camera was fun too actually!

It reminded Hannon instantly of 'Five Nights At Freddy's' (an horror themed Indy game which is essentially a complex puzzle game), and he began playing a game with Lily where they performed 'Five Nights At Freddy's in real life. The funny thing was, we had face-painted before we left the house and Hannon was the 'marionette' from the 2nd game, and Lily was Chica, one of the animatronics. Perfect.

Also this week, Dominik has begun making the family bread, Lily has decided she loves to bake, bump is growing fast now (and I'm getting more tired) and Hannon is now a maze genius after completing this book!

Here are some pictures.

Thanks for reading.

N x

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