Last month, we lost Ryuichi Sakamoto, who was an absolute monster of an artist and since hearing the news I’ve been going back and listening to a bunch of his catalog, which is not only massive, but it’s also incredibly diverse.
There are certain artists whose work allows you to see the world differently. If they’re really good, they might even allow you to feel it differently. Ryuichi Sakamoto was one of those artists. He worked across multiple musical genres and he was able to tap into and even affect different aspects of the human experience. I think the first piece of Ryuichi’s music I heard was Forbidden Colors, which is a vocal version of the theme to a film he scored and acted in alongside David Bowie called Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence. It was also the first of what would be decades of brilliant collaborations with former Japan frontman David Sylvian. A friend in college had reintroduced me to David, who I was familiar with from Japan, but it was his solo record Secrets of the Beehive, which featured Forbidden Colors as a bonus track, that introduced me to Ryuichi and I’ve been a fan ever since.
Yellow Magic Orchestra
Documentary about the piano that was damaged by the 2011 tsunami
Tales From Topographic Oceans
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Music For Workplaces by Jeffery Saddoris