Linking our last entry with not only the recently deceased director Bernardo Bertolucci and also David Bowie, some exquisite music by the great Japanese composer, pianist and actor. Sakamoto was a founder of The Yellow Magic Orchestra, but here we concentrate on his piano and film score music, which not only has the power to move and stir emotions in inexpressible ways, but also plays with a whole variety of background sounds, such as water, instilling his work with a subconscious richness.
Here then are three samples of his work - the beautiful theme from the film in which he also starred alongside David Bowie, Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence (1983) and later became a hit single, Forbidden Colours, some themes for Bertolucci’s epic Chinese history feature, The Last Emperor, in which he also collaborated with David Byrne. He has released dozens of albums and just as many film score releases, including The Sheltering Sky and The Revenant, but finally let’s also enjoy Andata from the 2017 album Async, which moves from piano to organ, a work he conceived as a theoretical soundtrack for an Andrei Tarkovsky film, the director he admired most for his attention to the sounds of nature.
Also below is footage of him playing the Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence theme live in 2016, and a trailer for the 2017 documentary film Coda, a fascinating insight into his creative process
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