roppongi city model

Opened almost two decades after it was originally imagined by real estate tycoon Minori Mori, Roppongi Hills — a self-contained mega-complex in the middle of Tokyo complete with office buildings, shopping malls, parks and trendy apartments — has become home to thousands of well-to-do businesspeople and Tokyoites, as well as a metropolitan mecca for those craving designer labels and fine dining.

In honour of Roppongi Hills’ 10-year anniversary, a number of celebrations are being held both online and off. The most creative and eye-catching by far, though, has to be the Tokyo City Symphony, an interactive online synthesizer produced as part of the Love Tokyo project. Combining music, 3-D projection mapping and a 1:1000 scale model of Tokyo with Roppongi Hills’ iconic 54-storey Mori Tower at its centre, visitors to the site are invited to project psychadelic patterns and colours onto the tiny, intricately-detailed model city in order to create original “symphony” music. The effect is nothing short of hypnotic.

Clicking through the website’s stylish intro, we are given a choice of three “landscapes” to play with: Future City, Rock City or Edo City. The model itself remains the same throughout, but the lighting and patterns projected into the 3-D model in time with the beat makes all the difference here.

roppongi select your city

We’re then given a quick tutorial of how to compose our own funky musical wonders. Simply by using our computer’s keyboard we can superimpose sounds and splashes of colour onto the Tokyo landscape as we please.

roppongi synth how to

With the program fully loaded, the beat bar starts to scroll across the screen. From here we’re free to mash our keyboards like madmen or carefully place notes to create epic audiovisual spectaculars. The program records your actions, so when you’re happy with your work you can click the pink “Finish” button and see what you’ve created. If you’re particularly proud of your creation (and, honestly, the program makes pretty much everything look cool so you probably will be), you can share your Tokyo Symphony with friends via your Twitter or Facebook feed.

▼ With its lighting effects, the model almost looks like an aerial photograph.

roppongi synth in action

▼Different keys provide different patterns.

roppongi synth

▼ Ready to share?

roppongi synth completed

Whether you care about the swanky mini-city or not, we can honestly recommend taking a trip over to the Tokyo Symphony website to try the “symphonizer” for yourselves. We may not all be able to afford to live, work or play within its cutting-edge walls, but as this clever creation shows, Roppngi Hills really is home to a lot of people with unique vision and an eye for style.

You can check out the synthesizer in action here in this official video from Tokyo City Symphony. Happy creating.

Source: Tokyo City Symphony