late composer ryuichi sakamoto’s last recital opens as mixed-reality concert at the shed in NY

late composer ryuichi sakamoto’s last recital opens as mixed-reality concert at the shed in NY

KAGAMI Ryuichi Sakamoto: a new type of mixed AR concert

 

The Shed in New York recently hosted the inauguration of KAGAMI, an innovative mixed-reality concert. Paying tribute to the late Ryuichi Sakamoto (1952-2023), a renowned composer and musician, the concert captivates the audience with an hour-long digital piano performance. On view until July 2, 2023, this multisensorial experience seamlessly merges the physical and digital domains, presenting a 3D pre-recorded spectacle through optically transparent devices.

 

Miguel Quismondo and Juan Carlos Bragado have collaborated with mixed-reality studio Tin Drum, The Shed, Factory International, and MQA for the architecture and spatial design of KAGAMI. Within Griffin Theater in The Shed, black drapes create two interconnected spaces: the Induction Area, where Ryuichi envelopes the audience, and the Performance Area, where his digital representation takes center stage, surrounded by the audience.

late composer ryuichi sakamoto’s last recital opens as mixed-reality concert at the shed in NY
all images by Ryan Muir, Experienced Visuals

 

 

a cinematic performance at THE SHED’S GRIFFIN THEATER 

 

Upon arrival, the audience enters the Theater, passing through a sequence of nine consecutive translucent cotton muslin fabrics. This transitional element, known as the ‘Path of Silence,’ was aptly named by Sakamoto during the initial design phase. Suspended from the ceiling grid, it serves as a reimagining of the traditional Japanese Torii Door, symbolizing the passage from the ordinary to the sacred. As the audience moves through the ‘Path of Silence’, they are transported from the familiar surroundings of the Shed into Ryuichi’s mixed-reality realm. To enhance this experience, the air within the pathway is infused with a specially curated aroma by the composer himself. The fragrant blend of ginger lily, juniper berries, and lemongrass envelops the senses, further enhancing the journey into Ryuichi’s world.

 

As the audience enters the interior space, they encounter six floating canvases positioned along the perimeter of the Induction Area illuminated by a serene blue light. These canvases showcase Ryuichi’s illustrious career and body of work. Behind the ‘Path of Silence’ is a booth where viewers wearing glasses can have their lenses checked for optimal device performance. After a few minutes of waiting, one of the screen sides drapery opens, revealing the Performance Area. The Audience is guided into this space, bathed in a dramatic red light.

late composer ryuichi sakamoto’s last recital opens as mixed-reality concert at the shed in NY
the audience passes through a sequence of nine consecutive translucent cotton muslin fabrics, known as the ‘Path of Silence’

late composer ryuichi sakamoto’s last recital opens as mixed-reality concert at the shed in NY

 

 

an emotional and captivating experience

 

The Performance Area features a circular seating arrangement with a diameter of 56′, creating a virtual center stage. Ryuichi and his piano are represented solely by a white mark on the floor, indicating their position. The ceiling is equipped with a double circular metal grid that houses the lighting and speaker systems. Within this space, a circular array of 80 seats is available, offering eight access points. Four cubic burgundy carts are strategically placed near some of these access points, containing devices for the audience members.

 

As the performance begins, a virtual image of Ryuichi appears at the center of the space, seated in front of his piano. Shortly after, spectators are free to walk around and approach the performer, viewing the virtual image from various angles. This immersive experience allows them to observe Ryuichi’s hands and facial expressions up close, resulting in an emotional and moving encounter. ‘Our commission included the design of 8 carts for the devices and controllers. Each cart serves as a charging base for 24 devices in total located on bins on top of 6 interior trays. Cable management happened hidden in the interior. Opened on both sides, they can be paneled to protect the devices allowing ventilation gaps,’ shared the design team.

late composer ryuichi sakamoto’s last recital opens as mixed-reality concert at the shed in NY
suspended from the ceiling, the canvases depict Ryuichi’s career and body of work

late composer ryuichi sakamoto’s last recital opens as mixed-reality concert at the shed in NY
the performance of Ryuichi Sakamoto can be enjoyed by up to 80 people at once, seated in a circular arrangement

late composer ryuichi sakamoto’s last recital opens as mixed-reality concert at the shed in NY
audience members are free to explore and navigate the spacious environment of The Shed’s Griffin Theater

ryuichi sakamoto's mixed-reality piano performance KAGAMI opens at the shed, new york
their position isn’t fixed, as they can also wander around

kagami-ryuichi-sakamoto-the-shed-mixed-reality-concert-designboom-21800

late composer ryuichi sakamoto’s last recital opens as mixed-reality concert at the shed in NY
viewers wear optically transparent devices that project a virtual representation of Sakamoto actively performing

kagami-ryuichi-sakamoto-the-shed-mixed-reality-concert-designboom-1800
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four cubic carts are placed within the perimeter of the circle, containing devices for the audience members
four cubic carts are placed within the perimeter of the circle, containing devices for the audience members
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spectators are free to walk around and approach the performer
spectators are free to walk around and approach the performer
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project info:

 

name: KAGAMI (Ryuichi Sakamoto)

architecture and spatial design: Juan Carlos Bragado and Miguel Quismondo AIA (MQ Architecture)

team: Gloria Saá García, Ignacio de Silóniz, Jacobo Mingorance, Chije Kang, William Mulvihill

composer and performer: Ryuichi Sakamoto | @skmtgram

location: The Griffin Theater, The Shed, New York

dates: until 2 July 2023

client: TinDrum
director and producer: Todd Eckert
completion date: June 2023
program & production team: The Shed
photography: Ryan Muir, Experienced Visuals

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