The foothills of Mt. Fuji were the backdrop of an amazing live performance last month that sent more than 20 drones into the sky, outfitted with over 16,000 LEDs. Tech firm MicroAd launched Sky Magic drones to perform the illuminated ballet, choreographed to correspond with the music from a group of Shamisens, Japanese traditional guitars. The live performance conducted at sundown provided a futuristic alternative to fireworks – without the big bangs.

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Creative director Tsuyoshi Takashiro is the mastermind behind the show. He orchestrated the audio visual spectacle, which is being touted as the “first live performance using MIDI-controlled LED flying machines.” The programmable drones flew in formation, like a fleet of synchronized swimmers, while the thousands of tiny lights flashed in carefully planned patterns. All the while, the light show was underscored by music from the Oyamakai ensemble of Shamisen players.

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Takashiro said inspiration for the aerial light show actually came from science fiction. Writer Arthur C. Clarke famously said “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,” and from that statement comes the name of the LED-equipped drones, Sky Magic. “I wanted to bring a new type of magic to the sky using drones,” Takashiro explained.

And he did.

Via Spoon & Tamago

Images via MicroAd