Ryuichi Sakamoto

July 9, 2020

Good morning.

Today we’re listening to Ryuichi Sakamoto, a Japanese composer and singer/songwriter. He gained pop star status in Japan as a member of Yellow Magic Orchestra, and as a solo artist invented new kinds of electronic music. But today we’re playing his film scores, to coincide with 10 of his scored movies releasing on the Criterion Channel. Sakamoto’s first score was for 1983’s Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, in which he co-starred with David Bowie. The score shows Sakamoto’s instrumental range and interest in all the kinds of sounds that synths can make. But first we’re playing his score for Jun Ichikawa’s 2004 film Tony Takitani, on which Sakamoto provides beautiful, contemplative solo piano pieces. Last is 1996, a collection of original pieces including many of the film themes not otherwise available on streaming.

Tony Takitani by Ryuichi Sakamoto (40m, no vocals) Spotify / Apple Music / YouTube Music / Google Play / Tidal

Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence by Ryuichi Sakamoto (40m, vocals on tracks 8, 15, 17, and 19) Spotify / Apple Music / YouTube Music / Google Play / Tidal

1996 by Ryuichi Sakamoto (70m, no vocals) Spotify / Apple Music / YouTube Music / Google Play / Tidal

Have a nice Thursday.