Dead stars from Whitney Houston to Maria Callas are going on tour again. As Miley Cyrus explores the questions in a new Black Mirror, we uncover the greatest name crisis in music today
In the star-making Disney Channel switcheroo Hannah Montana, Miley Cyrus frisked a youthful girl who is able to metamorphose from regular eighth grader to sounds icon, simply by don a streaked blonde wig. Most of the demonstrate seems quaintly dated now, but a few moments taps into a extremely 2019 sound tension. On The Other Side Of Me. a featherweight single from the programme’s soundtrack book, Cyrus sang:” I throw the write so many times I forget/ Who’s on stagecoach, who’s in the mirror .”
Cyrus has shifted her likenes from foam-finger humper to wholesome cowgirl since, but her brand-new performing capacity centres again on the self-searching theme of that neglect 2006 sound classic. In the brand-new season of Black Mirror, Cyrus dallies Ashley, a tween-friendly pop star whose latest sell stunt is” Ashley Too ,” a miniature talking robot plaything that repeats both her Pepto-Bismol hairdo and platitude-spouting persona. The episode’s trailer ends with Ashley Too acquiring potty-mouthed sentience, bellowing for her proprietor to” come this[ USB] cable out of my ass! Holy Shit !” Specifics are under wraps, but the bout seems centred around a big, knotty question: if someone’s essence is also available implanted into a mechanised clone, where do we dissolve and robots begin?
I’m not saying that Hannah Montana is a millennial Tiresias — a modern-day seer with mysterious eyesights of the future — but I’m also not not saying that. The binary between man and machine is growing increasingly porous, with virtual aides like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa taking up residency in our telephones and homes, and grown increasingly humanlike by the day. When instructed to rap, Alexa performs a string of Tom Lehrer-esque sillines about rocks and sediment. If you ask Siri if she can dance, her response is:” I do a pretty mean robot .” Software that mimics the personality of celebrities may be a while off, but it’s not inconceivable that well-liked celebrities could lend their articulates similar produces in the future, a laAshley Too. You is sure to picture a market for the RuPaul Alexa who tells users to” pace your pussy up” every morning.
It’s a given that celebrity image is built on smoke and mirrors. But we’re in a strange distinguish today, where the music manufacture is manoeuvering to persuade publics that the layer of an artist’s presence is a compelling substitute to watching a flesh-and-blood performance. Enter the sound stellar hologram.
Pop holograms started out as a trompe-l’oeil deception. Initially, these rudimentary representations weren’t technically holograms at all, but glowing juttings on to a thin piece of glass or gauze that rekindled a spectral presence, applying a Victorian sideshow technique called Pepper’s Ghost. At the 2006 Grammys, this old ruse was used to compile Madonna appear to duet with Gorillaz, before the specter was swapped out for her spandex-clad real-life counterpart. In the 2010 s, Pepper’s Ghost enabled Tupac to rise from the dead at Coachella, Michael Jackson to moonwalk at the VMAs, and Mariah Carey to appear simultaneously in five European cities for a T-Mobile gig in 2011. (” It feels like the whole universe is connected! It’s T-Magic ,” she said .) In a exalted bit of kitsch that only she could draw away, Celine Dion duos with a projection of herself in her current Las Vegas residency, and thinly jokes with her fleeting clone.” Come back tomorrow, I’m here every night ,” smiles the hologram. “Yeah right!” Dion reaches back, as the projection disappears with a swipe of her hand.