MIF23: KAGAMI by Ryuichi Sakamoto and Tin Drum

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 Tickets 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.

Having sadly passed away in April 2023, KAGAMI marks one of the last 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.

KAGAMI, which translates as “mirror” in Japanese, features Sakamoto playing 10 original compositions including well-known works ‘Energy Flow’ and ‘Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence’, the latter written for the 1983 film of the same name, whose hauntingly beautiful score won a BAFTA Award. We’ll also be treated to some rarely played pieces, such as ‘The Seed and the Sower’, all presented in surround sound.

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 marks a special – and in the light of Sakamoto’s recent passing, poignant – moment for Manchester International Festival.

“The project is a perfect example of the Festival’s collaborative spirit working with artists and partner organisations 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.

Writing on the collaboration, possibly in the knowledge that he wouldn’t be here to see its fruits, Sakamoto wrote:

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 Tickets from £10 Book now

Performances

Date
Time
Session Features
29 June 2023
7:00pm
29 June 2023
9:30pm
30 June 2023
11:00am
30 June 2023
7:00pm
30 June 2023
9:30pm
1 July 2023
1:00pm
1 July 2023
3:30pm
1 July 2023
7:00pm
1 July 2023
9:30pm
2 July 2023
2:00pm
2 July 2023
4:30pm
2 July 2023
7:00pm
4 July 2023
7:00pm
4 July 2023
9:30pm
5 July 2023
7:00pm
5 July 2023
9:30pm
6 July 2023
7:00pm
6 July 2023
9:30pm
7 July 2023
7:00pm
7 July 2023
9:30pm
8 July 2023
1:00pm
8 July 2023
3:30pm
8 July 2023
7:00pm
8 July 2023
9:30pm
9 July 2023
2:00pm
9 July 2023
4:30pm
9 July 2023
7:00pm

Always double check opening hours with the venue before making a special visit.

Where to go near MIF23: KAGAMI by Ryuichi Sakamoto and Tin Drum

Great John Street Hotel in Spinningfields in Manchester.
Castlefield
Hotel
Great John Street Hotel

A converted Victorian school house nestled on the edge of Spinningfields, the Great John Street Hotel has a relaxed and decadent atmosphere.

Altrincham
Shop
IDAHO

Every piece in IDAHO has something special and will guarantee to make your homes, offices and wardrobes feel a little more inspiring.

Club Vino
Manchester
Bar or Pub
Club Vino

Wine-tasting company ran by Italian sommelier and ex-wine merchant Marco Castelanelli. Offering at-home tasting experiences, along with special events in various high-end locations around Manchester.

Manchester
Gallery
Smolensky Gallery

This appointment-only gallery is a hidden gem in Manchester. Art lovers and collectors can browse many high quality pieces.

Spinningfields
Restaurant
Wagamama

Wagamama’s home in Spinningfields serves up high-quality Japanese cuisine in modern surroundings.

Spinningfields
Restaurant
Bill’s Manchester

This family favourite has moved from John Dalton Street to its new home in Spinningfields, with a brand new look featuring modern decor teamed with vintage items sourced by Bill himself.

City Centre
Restaurant
The Lawn Club

This winter a brand new yurt filled with festive lights, faux fur and foliage has pitched itself at The Lawn Club – creating the perfect hideaway haven in the heart of Spinningfields!

City Centre
Music venue
Low Four Studio

Old Granada Studios has announced Low Four: a new studio and music project that will stream and archive live music performance as part of a new generation of music TV programming. The inclusion of a viewing balcony also means that these recordings, along with special events and concerts, will be made open to a few […]

Manchester
Restaurant
20 Stories

High-end restaurant and cocktail bar, with stunning views of the Manchester skyline.

Manchester
Restaurant
Teppanyaki Chinatown

A Japanese teppanyaki restaurant in the centre of Chinatown. The focus is on high-quality food with a minimum of theatrics. It doesn’t disappoint.

What's on: Music

Until
ActivityManchester
DJ Gym at Hatch

Learn some DJ and production skills with DJ Gym Manchester, based in the culturally infused surrounds of Hatch.

from £269
Until
MusicManchester
Open Deck at Band on the Wall

Bring your records for a spin at our Open Deck session this Saturday! If you’ve bought some new vinyl from a local record shop this week, just show your receipt at the bar to get yourself a free 9” pizza!

Culture Guides

Festival-goers at Green Island
Music in Manchester and the North

Gazing longingly towards the good times that will accompany the surely imminent sun, we take a look at the best music festivals coming up in Manchester and Salford.