Keiichi Matsuda, the designer and augmented reality filmmaker wunderkind of Augmented (hyper) Reality: Domestic Robocop fame, has directed a music video for the Japanese band bossarica (their name is an evolution from the well-known Brazilian style of music 'bossanova,’ where 'nova' (new) is substituted with 'rica’ (rich)).
"Neon Sign" is the newest single off the band's first album, which was released in Japan this past March. The band's primary members, singer Okika and accordion player Hideki Shirataka, are the sole human subjects wandering through the blooming concrete jungle fabricated by Matsuda. While Tokyo is often portrayed as a glimmering neon metropolis, here Matsuda has presented the city to the viewer as a drab, monotonous urban area, a subject from which color is desperate to flow. According to Matsuda, the basis for the video sprung from the song’s main refrain, which acts as a kind of plea: "can you see / can you hear / my neon sign."
Utilizing his characteristic tendency for augmented reality visuals, Keiichi has supplemented the location photography of "Neon Sign" with a combination of 2D and 3D compositing, along with live projection mapping.
Starting in a grey empty parking garage, we are introduced to Okika who is bathed in colorful set of neon circles that emanate from her presence. Neon lines start to trace and accent the structural spaces around her, gliding across the pavement and eventually sprouting into a forest of color, representing her increased outreach to the city. As the song moves into its instrumental conclusion, the 'neon sign' is carried off by the accordion player. Neon lines, running parallel to his bellows, start to thrust themselves upward in stark contrast to the seemingly somber nature of the city, culminating in a bright collage between the two performers.
Once again, Keiichi has crafted a world full of seamless effects that logically supplement their subject matter and it’s simply enchanting.