My pals from Kawaii Bass invited me to come do a DJ set at their Canada Day party in the awesome basement of a geek/gaming bar called See-Scape in The Junction, Toronto. Tai and I had a super fun time, about 4 dozen or so folks came out to hang out, have beers, play games and dance to tunes from DJ's Tenshin, Epikuro and Panic Pop! See-Scape's basement is pretty great, with lots of great lighting and crazy art. They had an X-Box & TV set up with emulators and lots of folks playing Super Smash Bros. This place is super cute, with upstairs being mostly dedicated to tabletop gaming crowd, and the basement host to many music events (and from what I hear, robot fighting possibly?). It's been a while since I'd played an event in a place like this and it reminded me of the early 2000's events that I would throw with Chickenhed crew in Portland. Super cute!
I've teamed up with my friends at The Yetee for a bunch of awesome new merch, including Bibimbap Friends enamel pins, comfy and cute Donut Ghost tees, and a rad Donut Ghost vinyl sticker pack! Head over to their site and check it out: www.theyetee.com/pete
This summer I got to collaborate with one of my favorite brands - Pocky! I did a limited edition t-shirt that was part of their "#ShareHappiness" summer online pop-up campaign! I understand each of the batches of tees they released sold out in a matter of minutes. Did you get one? Fun fact: This design & campaign won an ADDY advertising award!
I designed the official shirt for Portland's own dino-loving geek band The Doubleclicks for their Massive Tour 2016!
My latest four limited edition tees are in stock now! These are limited editions of 50 per design, hand screen printed by me using water-base inks for a super soft feel and a long lasting print! This is one of my most collected items that I only make a couple times a year! Pick one up at shop.heyitspete.com
Over this past weekend I played the MIKU EXPO kick-off party "Digital Stars" at Fred Wildlife Refuge in Seattle, alongside a great line up of Mark Redito, Meishi Smile, Boa Constructor, Dog Noise & DJ Hojo. I'd say about 150 people or so came out to help get the weekend started. There was some really cool exclusive merch for this event including beautiful Hatsune Miku skateboards. Meishi Smile's set was wonderfully intense and probably one of the more difficult acts I have ever had to follow. All the performers either played songs that included Vocaloid, or drew inspiration from that aesthetic, so it was cool having a really varied line-up. I got to debut a special song I recorded just for the event featuring Hatsune Miku vocals. Getting to meet the staff from Crypton Future Media was great too, you can tell they really wanted to put on a great event. I think this will definitely go down as one of the most memorable parties I've ever played, and I feel lucky to have been a part of it!
My friend John and I attended the MIKU EXPO concert on Saturday at WaMu Theater. A sold out (as far as I could tell) show with 3,500 people! Anamanaguchi opened with a short but exciting set. It was a shame they didn't have the full visuals they had last time I saw them in Toronto, but given that they were the supporting act and also playing on a stage that already had an elaborate set up, I think that made sense.
I'd seen videos of Miku performing but I wasn't really sure what to expect. Visually it is really a treat, but you do have to suspend disbelief a little bit. When the show started I was really confused why she didn't appear bigger so she would be easier for people farther away to see, but then I realized she needed to be the same height as the live band members or it really would have ruined the effect. I'm not 100% sure of the projection technology being used, but it looked very clear and fluid from where we were sitting. The live band was super energetic and it was cool to hear the live arrangements of some familiar tunes. Many other vocaloid characters joined the show, and my favorite was "Remote Control" by Kagamine Rin & Len, a super high energy song with some great visuals to match that I was still humming after we left the theater.
I was already a fan of Miku, but there were still a few times where I was really surprised at how touching the experience was, and I thought "why am I tearing up at a projection of a virtual character?" One moment in particular stood out in her final encore song. The band left the stage and the last song was just Miku herself playing piano (a Yamaha electronic piano, nice touch). During part of the song she stopped playing and sang acapella. I actually felt myself gasp because I noticed how quiet everything else was. 3,500 people in the show and you could have heard a pin drop. That brief moment was a testament to how beautiful and touching technology can be, and I don't think I'll ever be able to forget it.
Everyone in the media seems caught up on focusing on Miku's "fakeness", as if this is the next logical conclusion after autotune or Milli Vanilli, or "you won't believe this crazy thing from Japan", but I see her as something much more globally human. Miku was created as just a tool, a blank slate & an image. WE collectively wrote her songs, collaborated with her and each other, developed her voice, told her story, and through our music brought her to "life".
So yes, I'm the sap standing there tearing up while I watch a singing hologram, but I can't help but experience the humanity deeply embedded within it at every level. When you know something isn't really human, you can project whatever personality you want onto it. In Miku's case, what we've collectively manifested is a utopian experience that crosses boundaries of language, geography, technology and physicality through music.
I'd say that's profoundly human.
Long live Hatsune Miku.
Thank you everyone who came out to the opening of my new show at Spritely Bean cafe in Portland, OR! The show continues through May 4th, so please stop by and check it out if you're in the area!
5829 SE Powell Blvd, Portland, OR 97206
This series features 6 limited edition giclee art prints on super nice watercolor paper, and all are editions of 40. Prints from the show are available for purchase now in my shop!
I'm excited to announce that I'll be DJ-ing at the official Hatsune Miku tour pre-party in Seattle MIKU EXPO Digital Stars, along with DJ Hojo, Boaconstructor, Meishi Smile and Mark Redito (f/k/a Spazzkid) on 4/22! THIS IS SO COOL! Tickets are available now at Ticketfly!
I just released a new series of limited edition prints called "Arcade Imports"! I love the way these bright machines and game centers decorate urban landscapes, and tried to envision what Pete-designed machines might look like in a Pete-designed arcade!
- Giclee art prints from digital illustrations by Pete Ellison
- Limited editions of 40, hand signed & numbered
- Paper size 11x14”, image size is approximately 10x13” with white border for easy framing
- High quality archival ink on watercolor paper
- Ships in a flat box, bagged with a backing board
My 2nd sticker pack for the awesome Japanese chat app LINE, "Kujira-chan vs. Geikatsu" is OUT NOW! My whale mascot characters Kujira-chan & Geikatsu are just being hip and enjoying life in the city. You can grab it from my creators page or purchase it in-app from the LINE sticker store!