The Fine Art of KARAOKE

“Only God Forgives” (2013) dir. Nicolas Winding Refn

“The desire to sing is common to a majority of people, I believe, and karaoke gave them the opportunity to feel like a star”

Daisuke Inoue, inventor of “karaoke”

It’s hardly a secret, but here at The Eye of Faith we absolutely adore the art of karaoke!

The initial spark of inspiration for what to sing (try something old? try something NEW?!), writing down your offering , the anticipation of waiting (which usually results in ample consumption of liquid courage), followed by the rush you get when your name is called; all of this builds to the beautiful and healing release of your voice, and the feeling that you did indeed DO THAT – not to mention the applause, and the instant feeling that you are now wanting more!

Its an addictive process, and our career in the karaoke business is a true testament to that. Late night in the basement of a dank bar seven or eight years ago has turned into something of a personal legacy that continues to bloom to this day. And with trying times, an outlet to express yourself and feel free the way karaoke provides is very much needed.

As we do, we have noticed the emergence of karaoke in the zeitgeist more and more lately, making its way not just in movies and television, but also in music videos, magazines, and of course, FASHION.

Fabrizio & Stefano Occhipinti for GUCCI Resort 2017 viral karaoke inspired campaign.

We first profiled this phenomenon back in 2017, when GUCCI provided the world with a karaoke campaign of their resort collection, and since then we have seen the magic of karaoke transpire in many eclectic and fanstastical ways.

Now the Gods of Karaoke have spoken, yet again, and have provided a very unique platform for some karaoke magic to transpire in our community!

Click for more details !!!

That’s right! In conjunction with the work of  Michele Pearson Clarke’s Quantum Choir, an art installation that explores the complex power of public singing, we will be hosting an evening of Karaoke at the gallery, specifically geared to make it easy for the reticent or first-time singer.

And as fore mentioned, the art of Karaoke has definitely been in the spotlight as of late, and so this marriage of the Art Gallery of Hamilton feels very apropos. We are looking forward to facilitating the joy and magic that made us love karaoke, and bringing it to the hallowed halls of the AGH.

It is just about a week away, so be sure to mark your calendars and grab a fun group, and let us all sing our worries away, and hopefully ignite the passion for anyone new to the unique experience that is KARAOKE.

Click here for more details, and scroll down to learn a bit about karaoke’s origin and legacy.

The original karaoke machine, the JUKE 8 (circa 1971) by Daisuke Inoue

Invented just over fifty years ago by musician Daisuke Inoue (born MAY 10, 1940); the word “karaoke” is derived from two Japanese words: ‘kara’ comes from the word ‘karappo’ meaning empty or void and ‘oke’ from the word ‘okesutura’ or orchestra.

KARAOKE = EMPTY ORCHESTRA

Legend has it, the name was coined in 1952 when a famous Osaka theatrical troupe was thrown into crisis when their entire orchestra went on strike forcing the troupes’ owner to commission an electronics firm to create a machine that would play the music the actors required.

Daisuke Inoue with his JUKE 8 – the first official karaoke machine for use by the public.

It was never his intention to go into business, and in fact the genesis of his invention would come from a fear of singing!

Approached by the president of a small company to provide entertainment for a small group of clients at a local club, he was relieved to be asked only to tape a few of his favourite songs, which the president practiced to perfection, and was able to impress and delight with his performance.

This sparked something in the mind of Inoue, and two months later, at the cost of just $425 USD, the JUKE 8 was born with a catalogue of 300 songs recorded by Inoue’s band. Starting with 10 bars, and the help of a beautiful female colleague on the mic, the customers were entranced by the primal pleasure provided by Inoue’s karaoke machine, and within a year the JUKE 8 was in high demand across the country with over 25,000 units!

“From the next day customers refused to give up the microphone”

Daisuke Inoue, inventor of the first karaoke machine in 1971.

From there, Inoue convinced some of the biggest record labels that their bands needed to be a part of the karaoke craze, and within a couple years his company was grossing an annual $100 million in sales.

“Had it been patented,” says Inoue himself, β€œI don’t think karaoke would have grown like it did.”

However, it was never about the money for him, but instead the pleasure of allowing people to become a star, if only just for that brief moment in time. Just as quickly as he ignited the karaoke revolution, he walked away from the business, handing over the reigns to his brother.

His invention was never patented, but Inoue stands firm that if he had done so, perhaps karaoke would not have endured quite the same legacy it does today.

In 1999 he was named among the “Most Influential Asians of the Century” by TIME Magazine, and five years later in 2004, Inoue was honoured at Harvard University’s “Ig Nobel Prize Awards” for his invention and “creating an entirely new way for people to tolerate eachother” (speech at 1:15:00).

We, and the world, are so undoubtedly grateful for his contribution to our society, and are forever in debt to this man’s ingenuity and passion for spreading the joy of singing in public, no matter your experience.

Singing has been proven to not only elevate your mood, releasing dopamine, seratonin and endorphines- all those happy natural chemicals are bodies produce; but also, improves memory, relieves pain, burns calories, reduces stress, and is even used in rehabilitating patients suffering from lung conditions.

By far, the most beneficial aspect has to be the boost of confidence you get when you sing, and in turn, the connection you grow with the community you sing with. We look forward to building new bonds, and further strengthening familiar ones, so please join us at the Art Gallery of Hamilton (7p-9p) for our “Careful Karaoke” on May 19, and help us tune the fine art of KARAOKE!

Until we meet again,

{theEye}

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