Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Ryuichi Sakamoto (坂本龍一) - Playing the Piano

2009; 12 tracks

坂本龍一, or Ryuichi Sakamoto, is a Japanese composer, musician, and actor.

Born in Tokyo in 1952, Sakamoto fell in love first with English rock music (he’s a big Rolling Stones fan) and then with French Impressionism. He was the founding member of the cult electro-pop trio, Yellow Magic Orchestra, and has worked collaboratively with figures as diverse as William S. Burroughs, Jose Carreras, Youssou N’Dour, Iggy Pop and the Dalai Lama. He has written vast opera music for the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona and for the 400th anniversary of the city of Mannheim, Germany. Most recently he has become a dedicated environmentalist, launching a carbon footprint-conscious record label, Common, and his successful MoreTrees project in Japan and the Philippines.

But to European music lovers, Sakamoto is best known as the composer of epic film scores. Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, The Last Emperor, The Sheltering Sky, The Handmaiden’s Tale, Wild Palms, Little Buddha, and dozens more, for which he has been rewarded with innumerable awards. Among them an Oscar, a couple of Golden Globes and a Grammy. - Altsounds

Playing the Piano is a gentle, beautiful collection of jazzy, eclectic piano music. There are many different influences to his music, such as classical/jazz/etc. His playing is comforting and soft, melodic and able to hum along to. "Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence" is an absolutely wonderful track, my favorite :3



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