August 12, 2022

New Short Film 'Kaguya' Celebrates Gucci's 75th Anniversary

Maria Ugrinovski
New Short Film 'Kaguya' Celebrates Gucci's 75th Anniversary
Gucci’s latest short film features a soundtrack with vocals by an AI-equipped humanoid robot.

Keiichiro Shibuya composed the original soundtrack for Gucci's latest short film as part of the brand's 75th-anniversary celebration of bamboo-handle bags. A humanoid robot equipped with artificial intelligence, Alter4, features in Shibuya's film.

The six-minute short film is directed by award-winning Japanese filmmaker Makoto Nagahisa and reimagines the ancient Japanese folktale Taketori Monogatari (The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter). It tells the story of an Earthly princess named Kaguya who is discovered by a bamboo cutter in a glowing plant on Earth. The film features Hikari Mitsushima as Princess Kaguya, Aoi Yamada as the bamboo cutter, and Eita Nagayama as the emperor who falls in love with the princess – all dressed in pieces from Gucci's Love Parade collection.

Gucci's contemporary re-imagining of one of Japan's oldest fairy tales inspired my composition. Alter4 acts as a kyogen-mawashi or storyteller, a vital role in traditional forms of Japanese performance art such as noh and kabuki. Juxtaposing tradition and modernity, an android – a product of contemporary technology – plays the narrator instead of a human singer. In addition, the music integrates contemporary and traditional sounds, using digital and analog synthesizers, strings, and vocals generated with artificial intelligence. This echoes Gucci's concept of retelling the folktale and reconceiving the bamboo-handle bag.
– COMPOSER KEIICHIRO SHIBUYA.

In order to master the soundtrack, Shibuya partnered up with Berlin-based musician and engineer Enyang Urbiks. Lyrics for the film were written by Cypher, an AI lyricist, in collaboration with the movie's director.

The AI-equipped android made its debut in 2018 with the android opera Scary Beauty, which toured Japan, Germany, and the UAE. Shibuya composed the opera's music, and Alter3, Alter4's previous version, was responsible for setting the orchestra's tempo and volume while simultaneously singing with the music. Using machine learning and classical music, Shibuya and the android have developed projects that enable the android to sing along with Shibuya's piano improvisations in real time, without scores.

In celebration of the film's release, a Gucci pop-up store will open in the Mitsukoshi department store in Nihombashi, Tokyo, from August 31 to September 20, with an installation inviting the public to view 'Kaguya by Gucci' in person. 

The film can also be viewed on Gucci.com and the brand's YouTube channel.

Film Credits:

Creative Concept: Toshihiko
TanabeDirector: Makoto Nagahisa Music: Keiichiro Shibuya Original song ‘I Come from the Moon’Composed by Keiichiro ShibuyaVocal by Android – Alter4Lyrics by Makoto Nagahisa, Cypher (AI)

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New Short Film 'Kaguya' Celebrates Gucci's 75th Anniversary