MIF23: Kagami by Ryuichi Sakamoto and Tin Drum

Part of our Classical Music guide

Johnny James, Managing Editor
Ryuichi Sakamoto by Luigi & Iango, 2023.

Kagami by Ryuichi Sakamoto and Tin Drum at Versa Manchester Studios, Castlefield, 29 June–9 July 2023, from £10 - Book now

As part of this year’s Manchester International Festival, watch a ground-breaking mixed reality concert created by legendary composer and musician, Ryuichi Sakamoto, and world-leading production studio and technology developer, Tin Drum.

KAGAMI is billed as “a new kind of concert, fusing dimensional moving photography with the real world to create a never-before-experienced mixed reality presentation”. Audiences will be invited to wear special optical devices through which they’ll see a virtual Sakamoto performing on the piano alongside “dimensional art aligned with the music” – a collision of realities that changes the definition of engagement in recorded performance.

Both a collective and individual experience, you can watch from your seat or you can wander around the space, free to connect with the work – and each other – on your own terms throughout the one-hour show.

It’s the latest of Sakamoto’s many considerable contributions to art and music. As one-third of Yellow Magic Orchestra, he helped build the foundations for synth pop, electro and techno during the 1970s and early ’80s. Later he became known for his classical music, writing scores for Oscar-winning films such as The Last Emperor and The Revenant, while his solo and collaborative installations and exhibitions have been presented in galleries and museums worldwide.

Tin Drum is the world’s premier studio producing content for mixed reality devices. Founded in 2016 by Todd Eckert (KAGAMI Director), this collective of artists, engineers, designers, and technologists blends uniquely dimensional form with the real world to create experiences impossible through other media.

These are two visionary creative forces, and their collaboration will no doubt mark a special moment for Manchester International Festival.

“The project is a perfect example of the Festival’s collaborative spirit working with artists and partner organizations from around the world to bring extraordinary, original projects to Manchester in both the live and digital spheres” says Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Factory International and Manchester International Festival, John McGrath.

Reflecting on the collaboration, Sakamoto writes:

There is, in reality, a virtual me.
This virtual me will not age, and will continue to play the piano for years, decades, centuries.
Will there be humans then?
Will the squids that will conquer the earth after humanity listen to me? What will pianos be to them?
What about music?
Will there be empathy there?
Empathy that spans hundreds of thousands of years. Ah, but the batteries won’t last that long.

Kagami by Ryuichi Sakamoto and Tin Drum at Versa Manchester Studios, Castlefield

29 June–9 July 2023
From £10

Dates and Times

  • 29 June 2023 7:00 pm
  • 29 June 2023 9:30 pm
  • 30 June 2023 11:00 am
  • 30 June 2023 7:00 pm
  • 30 June 2023 9:30 pm
  • 1 July 2023 1:00 pm
  • 1 July 2023 3:30 pm
  • 1 July 2023 7:00 pm
  • 1 July 2023 9:30 pm
  • 2 July 2023 2:00 pm
  • 2 July 2023 4:30 pm
  • 2 July 2023 7:00 pm
  • 4 July 2023 7:00 pm
  • 4 July 2023 9:30 pm
  • 5 July 2023 7:00 pm
  • 5 July 2023 9:30 pm
  • 6 July 2023 7:00 pm
  • 6 July 2023 9:30 pm
  • 7 July 2023 7:00 pm
  • 7 July 2023 9:30 pm
  • 8 July 2023 1:00 pm
  • 8 July 2023 3:30 pm
  • 8 July 2023 7:00 pm
  • 8 July 2023 9:30 pm
  • 9 July 2023 2:00 pm
  • 9 July 2023 4:30 pm
  • 9 July 2023 7:00 pm
  • Always double check dates and times with the venue before making a special visit

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Cinema 29 June 2023, FREE

MIF23: Jenn Nkiru

Festivals 30 June–16 July 2023, FREE

MIF23: Festival Square

Music 30 June–2 July 2023, from £10

MIF23: Janelle Monae