The show, staged at the Winter Garden Theater at New York's World Financial Center, served to unveil both Sakamoto's latest work, "Discord," and two new interactive technologies: Remote Applause and Remote Piano.
In addition to the audience gathered at the Winter Garden, the show played to Internet users who caught the concert at classicalinsites.com, who had a direct hand in the proceedings.
As the opening act for "Discord," Sakamoto and Spooky each manned a turntable for a half hour of seamless spinning. Staged in front of a screen featuring moving, seemingly radiating black and white images of the New York skyline, the two spun what were at first lilting, spacy tones, but later swelled into an almost industrial din. At their louder, bolder moments, the two layered in drum-n-bass beats, chants, and allowed Net users to add to the mix with a keystroke through Remote Piano.
The opening set also featured
the debut of Remote Applause, which allowed users to log their approval by hitting the "D" key, sending colored beams of light dancing across the backdrop.
Later, as Sakamoto lead a small orchestra, augmented by DJ Spooky, through "Discord's" four movements (dubbed "Grief," "Anger," "Prayer," and "Salvation") the emphasis was placed more on sonic experimentation than interaction, though the Remote Applause was reprised during the flourish of his "Anger" movement.
The free concert was sponsored by Giorgio Armani, and marks the release this week of Sakamoto's "Discord" CD, which features the work of DJ Spooky as well as spoken word contributions by Laurie Anderson, David Byrne, and Patti Smith.