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Ryuichi Sakamoto

Ryuichi Sakamoto

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After working as a session musician with Haruomi Hosono
Haruomi Hosono
, also known as Harry Hosono, is a Japanese popular musician, best known internationally as a key member of the rock band Happy End and the pioneering electronic music band Yellow Magic Orchestra.-Biography:...

 and Yukihiro Takahashi
Yukihiro Takahashi
Yukihiro Takahashi is a Japanese musician, who is best known as the drummer and lead vocalist of the Yellow Magic Orchestra, and as the former drummer of the Sadistic Mika Band.-Biography:...

 in 1977, the trio formed the internationally successful electronic music
Electronic music
Electronic music is music that employs electronic musical instruments and electronic music technology in its production. In general a distinction can be made between sound produced using electromechanical means and that produced using electronic technology. Examples of electromechanical sound...

 band Yellow Magic Orchestra
Yellow Magic Orchestra
Sakamoto first worked with Hosono as a member of his live band in 1976, while Takahashi recruited Sakamoto to produce his debut solo recording in 1977 following the split of the Sadistic Mika Band...

 (YMO) in 1978. Known for their seminal influence on electronic music, the group helped pioneer electronic genres such as electropop/technopop, synthpop
Synthpop
Synthpop is a genre of popular music that first became prominent in the 1980s, in which the synthesizer is the dominant musical instrument. It was prefigured in the 1960s and early 1970s by the use of synthesizers in progressive rock, electronic art rock, disco and particularly the "Kraut rock" of...

, cyberpunk
Cyberpunk
Cyberpunk is a postmodern and science fiction genre noted for its focus on "high tech and low life." The name is a portmanteau of cybernetics and punk, and was originally coined by Bruce Bethke as the title of his short story "Cyberpunk," published in 1983...

 music, ambient house
Ambient house
Ambient house, a music genre that first emerged in the late 1980s, is a sub-genre of house music, combining elements of acid house and ambient music...

, and electronica
Electronica
Electronica includes a wide range of contemporary electronic music designed for a wide range of uses, including foreground listening, some forms of dancing, and background music for other activities; however, unlike electronic dance music, it is not specifically made for dancing...

. The group's work has had a lasting influence across genres ranging from hip hop
Hip hop music
Hip hop music, also called hip-hop, rap music or hip-hop music, is a musical genre consisting of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping, a rhythmic and rhyming speech that is chanted...

 and techno
Techno
Techno is a form of electronic dance music that emerged in Detroit, Michigan in the United States during the mid to late 1980s. The first recorded use of the word techno, in reference to a genre of music, was in 1988...

 to acid house
Acid house
Acid house is a sub-genre of house music that emphasizes a repetitive, hypnotic and trance-like style, often with samples or spoken lines rather than sung lyrics. Acid house's core electronic squelch sounds were developed around the mid-1980s, particularly by DJs from Chicago who experimented with...

 and general melodic music
Melodic music
Melodic Imitation is a term that covers various genres of non-classical music which are primarily characterised by the dominance of a single strong melody line. Rhythm, tempo and beat are subordinate to the melody line or tune, which is generally easily memorable, and followed without great...

.

Sakamoto was the songwriter and composer for a number of the band's hit songs, including "Yellow Magic (Tong Poo)" (1978), "Technopolis
Solid State Survivor
Solid State Survivor was the second album by Japanese electronic music band Yellow Magic Orchestra, released in 1979. Solid State Survivor was never released in the United States, but many of the songs from this album were compiled for release in the States as the US pressing of ×∞Multiplies ,...

" (1979), "Nice Age" (1980), "Ongaku
Naughty Boys
- Translation notes :As on some other YMO albums, song titles are provided in both Japanese and English, and some have different translations all together:* "君に、胸キュン。" translates to "My Heart Beats for You."...

" (1983), and "You've Got to Help Yourself
Service (album)
- Personnel :*Ryuichi Sakamoto: keyboards, vocals*Yukihiro Takahashi: drums, vocals*Haruomi Hosono: Bass, keyboards, vocals*Peter Barakan: Lyrics...

" (1983), while playing the keyboards for many of their other songs, including international hits such as "Computer Game / Firecracker" (1978) and "Rydeen
Solid State Survivor
Solid State Survivor was the second album by Japanese electronic music band Yellow Magic Orchestra, released in 1979. Solid State Survivor was never released in the United States, but many of the songs from this album were compiled for release in the States as the US pressing of ×∞Multiplies ,...

" (1979), and singing in several songs such as "Kimi ni Mune Kyun
Naughty Boys
- Translation notes :As on some other YMO albums, song titles are provided in both Japanese and English, and some have different translations all together:* "君に、胸キュン。" translates to "My Heart Beats for You."...

" (1983). He also wrote "Technopolis
Solid State Survivor
Solid State Survivor was the second album by Japanese electronic music band Yellow Magic Orchestra, released in 1979. Solid State Survivor was never released in the United States, but many of the songs from this album were compiled for release in the States as the US pressing of ×∞Multiplies ,...

" (1979), which contributed to the development of techno
Techno
Techno is a form of electronic dance music that emerged in Detroit, Michigan in the United States during the mid to late 1980s. The first recorded use of the word techno, in reference to a genre of music, was in 1988...

, and the international hit "Behind the Mask
Behind the Mask (song)
"Behind the Mask" is a synthpop song by electronic music band Yellow Magic Orchestra, written by member Ryuichi Sakamoto and first produced in 1978 for a Seiko commercial. It was later released in 1979 as part of the band's Solid State Survivor album with English lyrics added by Chris Mosdell. The...

" (1978), a synthpop song for which he sang the vocals through a vocoder
Vocoder
A vocoder is an analysis/synthesis system, mostly used for speech. In the encoder, the input is passed through a multiband filter, each band is passed through an envelope follower, and the control signals from the envelope followers are communicated to the decoder...

 and which would later be covered by a number of international artists, including Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson
Michael Joseph Jackson was an American recording artist, entertainer, and businessman. Referred to as the King of Pop, or by his initials MJ, Jackson is recognized as the most successful entertainer of all time by Guinness World Records...

 and Eric Clapton
Eric Clapton
Eric Patrick Clapton, CBE, is an English guitarist and singer-songwriter. Clapton is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist, and separately as a member of The Yardbirds and Cream. Clapton has been referred to as one of the most important and...

.

Solo career


Sakamoto released his first solo album in mid-1978, Thousand Knives of Ryūichi Sakamoto, with the help of Hideki Matsutake
Hideki Matsutake
Hideki Matsutake is a Japanese composer, arranger, and computer programmer. He is known for his pioneering work in electronic music and particularly music programming, as the assistant of Isao Tomita during the early 1970s and as the "fourth member" of the band Yellow Magic Orchestra during the...

, who would later be the "fourth member" of Yellow Magic Orchestra, and with the band's founding member Haruomi Hosono
Haruomi Hosono
, also known as Harry Hosono, is a Japanese popular musician, best known internationally as a key member of the rock band Happy End and the pioneering electronic music band Yellow Magic Orchestra.-Biography:...

 also contributing to the song "Thousand Knives". The album experimented with different styles, such as "Thousand Knives" and "The End of Asia" fusing
Fusion (music)
A fusion genre is music that combines two or more styles. For example, rock and roll originally developed as a fusion of blues, gospel and country music. The main characteristics of fusion genres are variations in tempo, rhythm, i a sometimes the use of long musical "journeys" that can be divided...

 electronic music with traditional Japanese music
Music of Japan
The music of Japan includes a wide array of performers in distinct styles both traditional and modern. The word for music in Japanese is 音楽 , combining the kanji 音 with the kanji 楽...

, while "Grasshoppers" was a more minimalistic piano song. The album was recorded from April to July in 1978 using a variety of electronic equipment
Electronic musical instrument
An electronic musical instrument is a musical instrument that produces its sounds using electronics. Such an instrument sounds by outputting an electrical audio signal that ultimately drives a loudspeaker....

, including various synthesizers such as the KORG PS-3100
Korg PS-3300
The Korg PS-3300 is a polyphonic analog synthesizer produced by Korg, between 1977 and 1981.- History :The Korg PS-3300 is one of the biggest and rarest synthesizers ever made. Only around 50 units were produced by Korg over a 4-year period from 1977 to 1981 after which it was discontinued...

 polyphonic synthesizer, Oberheim Eight-Voice
Oberheim polyphonic
The Oberheim polyphonic is an analog music synthesizer that was produced from 1974 to 1979 by Oberheim electronics. Tom Oberheim, the founder, knew that musicians needed a way to play chords on the synthesizers that were becoming popular in all styles of music in the 1970s. Except for huge, custom,...

, Moog III-C
Moog synthesizer
Moog synthesizer may refer to any number of analog synthesizers designed by Dr. Robert Moog or manufactured by Moog Music, and is commonly used as a generic term for older-generation analog music synthesizers. The Moog company pioneered the commercial manufacture of modular voltage-controlled...

, Polymoog
Polymoog
The Polymoog is a polyphonic analog synthesizer that was manufactured by Moog Music from 1975 to 1980. The Polymoog was based on divide-down oscillator technology similar to electronic organs and string synthesizers of the time, and this led to a certain lack of flexibility compared to later...

, Minimoog
Minimoog
The Minimoog is a monophonic analog synthesizer, invented by Bill Hemsath and Robert Moog. It was released in 1970 by R.A. Moog Inc. , and production was stopped in 1981. It was re-designed by Robert Moog in 2002 and released as Minimoog Voyager.The Minimoog was designed in response to the use of...

, and Micromoog
Micromoog
The Micromoog is a monophonic analog synthesizer produced by Moog Music from 1975 to 1979.The Micromoog was designed by Robert Moog and Jim Scott as a scaled-down, cheaper alternative to the Minimoog. It was designed to tap into a market of musicians who wanted an introduction to synthesis, but...

, as well as the Korg VC-10
Korg VC-10
The Korg VC-10 is an analogue vocoder from the 1970s. Vocoding refers to voice encoding of speech and singing with musical synthesis. It gained popularity in the '70s following utilisation by bands such as Kraftwerk and ELO. The VC-10 allows basic functionality in operation and modulation of signal...

 vocoder
Vocoder
A vocoder is an analysis/synthesis system, mostly used for speech. In the encoder, the input is passed through a multiband filter, each band is passed through an envelope follower, and the control signals from the envelope followers are communicated to the decoder...

, KORG SQ-10
Korg MS-20
The Korg MS-20 is a patchable semi-modular monophonic synthesizer which Korg released in 1978 and which was in production until 1983. It was part of Korg's MS series of instruments, which also included the single oscillator MS-10, the keyboardless MS-50 module, and the SQ-10 sequencer...

 analog sequencer
Analog sequencer
Analog sequencers were early generation of electronic music sequencers. Their peculiarities and limitations left a lasting stylistic imprint on Berlin School electronic music, and hence, indirectly, in many later rhythmic synthesizer-driven music genres such as techno, trance music, 1980s synth...

, and Syn-Drums
Pollard Syndrum
The Pollard Syndrum was one of the first electronic drums. It was invented by Joe Pollard, a drummer for the Beach Boys and Grass Roots . In 1976, he met Mark Barton, who had designed and built some working prototypes which were previewed to some prominent drummers...

 electronic drum
Electronic drum
An electronic drum is an electronic synthesizer which mimics an acoustic drum kit.The electronic drum usually consists of a set of pads mounted on a stand in a disposition similar to an acoustic drum kit. The pads are discs with a rubber or cloth-like coating. Each pad has a sensor which generates...

 kit
Drum kit
A drum kit is a collection of drums, cymbals and often other percussion instruments, such as cowbells, wood blocks, triangles, chimes, or tambourines, arranged for convenient playing by a single person ....

. It was also the earliest known record to utilize the microprocessor
Microprocessor
A microprocessor incorporates the functions of a computer's central processing unit on a single integrated circuit, or at most a few integrated circuits. It is a multipurpose, programmable device that accepts digital data as input, processes it according to instructions stored in its memory, and...

-based Roland MC-8 Microcomposer
Roland MC-8 Microcomposer
The Roland MC-8 MicroComposer by the Roland Corporation, introduced in 1977 at a price of around US$8,000, was one of the earliest stand-alone microprocessor-driven CV/Gate music sequencer, following EMS Sequencer 256 in 1971 and New England Digital's ABLE computer in 1975...

 music sequencer
Music sequencer
The music sequencer is a device or computer software to record, edit, play back the music, by handling note and performance information in several forms, typically :...

, which was programmed by Matsutake. Sakamoto would later remix
Remix
A remix is an alternative version of a recorded song, made from an original version. This term is also used for any alterations of media other than song ....

 his song "Thousand Knives" using the Roland TR-808
Roland TR-808
The Roland TR-808 Rhythm Composer was one of the first programmable drum machines . Introduced by the Roland Corporation in early 1980, it was originally manufactured for use as a tool for studio musicians to create demos. Like earlier Roland drum machines, it does not sound very much like a real...

 drum machine
Drum machine
A drum machine is an electronic musical instrument designed to imitate the sound of drums or other percussion instruments. They are used in a variety of musical genres, not just purely electronic music...

 as "1000 Knives" for his band's album BGM
BGM (album)
-Personnel:*Ryuichi Sakamoto: keyboards, vocals*Yukihiro Takahashi: drums, vocals*Haruomi Hosono: Bass, keyboards, vocals*Peter Barakan: Lyrics*Hideki Matsutake: Computer programming...

(1981). His song "Grasshoppers" would also later be sampled
Sampling (music)
In music, sampling is the act of taking a portion, or sample, of one sound recording and reusing it as an instrument or a different sound recording of a song or piece. Sampling was originally developed by experimental musicians working with musique concrète and electroacoustic music, who physically...

 in Ghostface Killah
Ghostface Killah
Dennis Coles , better known by his stage name Ghostface Killah, is an American rapper and prominent member of the Wu-Tang Clan. After the group achieved breakthrough success in the aftermath of Enter the Wu-Tang , the members went on to pursue solo careers to varying levels of success...

's "Baby
Ghostdini: Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City
Ghostdini: Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City is the eighth studio album by American rapper and Wu-Tang Clan-member Ghostface Killah, released September 29, 2009 on Def Jam Recordings in the United States. He first announced the album in a May 2008 interview, describing it as an R&B-inspired album,...

" (2009).
In 1980, he released the solo album B-2 Unit, which is considered to be his "edgiest" record. It is known for the electronic classic "Riot in Lagos", which is considered an early example of electro music (electro-funk), for having anticipated the beats and sounds of electro. Ryuichi Sakamoto, particularly his song "Riot in Lagos", had an influence on early electo and hip hop
Hip hop
Hip hop is a form of musical expression and artistic culture that originated in African-American and Latino communities during the 1970s in New York City, specifically the Bronx. DJ Afrika Bambaataa outlined the four pillars of hip hop culture: MCing, DJing, breaking and graffiti writing...

 artists such as Afrika Bambaata, and was cited by Kurtis Mantronik as a major influence on his electro hip hop group Mantronix
Mantronix
Mantronix was an influential 1980s hip hop and electro funk music group founded by DJ Kurtis Mantronik , and rapper MC Tee...

. The song was later included in Playgroup
Playgroup (band)
Playgroup is a British dance act. Basically the project of musician and designer Trevor Jackson, they were associated with the electroclash movement.Jackson has also performed under the names Underdog and Skull.-Albums:...

's compilation album
Compilation album
A compilation album is an album featuring tracks from one or more performers, often culled from a variety of sources The tracks are usually collected according to a common characteristic, such as popularity, genre, source or subject matter...

 Kings of Electro (2007), alongside later electro classics such as Hashim's "Al-Nafyish" (1983). According to Dusted Magazine, Sakamoto's use of squelching
Acid house
Acid house is a sub-genre of house music that emphasizes a repetitive, hypnotic and trance-like style, often with samples or spoken lines rather than sung lyrics. Acid house's core electronic squelch sounds were developed around the mid-1980s, particularly by DJs from Chicago who experimented with...

 bounce
Bounce music
Bounce music is an energetic style of New Orleans hip hop music which is said to have originated as early as the late 1980s, but is typically believed to have begun with the 1991 single "Where Dey At" by MC T.Tucker and DJ Irv...

 sounds and mechanical beats
Beat (music)
The beat is the basic unit of time in music, the pulse of the mensural level . In popular use, the beat can refer to a variety of related concepts including: tempo, meter, rhythm and groove...

 was later incorporated in early electro and hip hop music
Hip hop music
Hip hop music, also called hip-hop, rap music or hip-hop music, is a musical genre consisting of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping, a rhythmic and rhyming speech that is chanted...

 productions such as “Message II (Survival)” (1982) by Melle Mel
Melle Mel
Grandmaster Mele Mel , also known as Melle Mel , is an American hip-hop musician — one of the pioneers of old school hip hop as lead rapper and main songwriter for Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.- Biography :...

 and Duke Bootee
Duke Bootee
Duke Bootee was an early hip hop and rap producer, who produced some of the most early and important rap records His perhaps most well-known single was "The Message". Produced for Sugar Hill Records, this record featured legendary rapper Melle Mel and Duke Bootee...

, “Magic’s Wand
Whodini (album)
Whodini is the self-titled debut album by the hip-hop group Whodini. It was released in 1983 on Jive/Arista Records and spawned two hit singles: "Magic's Wand" and "The Haunted House of Rock." "Magic's Wand" appeared in the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City on the Wildstyle Pirate Radio radio...

” (1982) by Whodini
Whodini
Whodini is a hip hop group that was formed in 1981. The Brooklyn, New York-based trio consisted of vocalist and main lyricist Jalil Hutchins; co-vocalist John Fletcher, aka Ecstasy ; and turntable artist DJ Drew Carter, aka Grandmaster Dee.-Early years:Whodini was among the first hip-hop groups to...

 and Thomas Dolby
Thomas Dolby
Thomas Dolby is an English musician and producer. Best known for his 1982 hit "She Blinded Me with Science", and 1984 single "Hyperactive!", he has also worked extensively in production and as a session musician.-Early life:Dolby was born in London, England, contrary to information in early 1980s...

, Twilight 22’s “Electric Kingdom” (1983), and Kurt Mantronik's Mantronix: The Album
Mantronix: The Album
- Track listing :# "Bassline" – 5:26# "Needle to the Groove" – 3:41# "Mega-Mix" – 5:35# "Hardcore Hip-Hop" – 6:18# "Ladies" – 6:55...

(1985). The 1980 release of "Riot in Lagos" was listed by The Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

in 2011 as one of the 50 key events in the history of dance music
Dance music
Dance music is music composed specifically to facilitate or accompany dancing. It can be either a whole musical piece or part of a larger musical arrangement...

.

Also in 1980, Sakamoto released the single "War Head / Lexington Queen", an experimental synthpop
Synthpop
Synthpop is a genre of popular music that first became prominent in the 1980s, in which the synthesizer is the dominant musical instrument. It was prefigured in the 1960s and early 1970s by the use of synthesizers in progressive rock, electronic art rock, disco and particularly the "Kraut rock" of...

 and electro record. That same year, Sakamoto began a long-standing collaboration with David Sylvian
David Sylvian
David Sylvian is an English singer-songwriter and musician who came to prominence in the late 1970s as the lead vocalist and main songwriter in the group Japan...

 when he co-wrote and performed on the Japan
Japan (band)
Japan were a British New Wave group, formed in 1974 in Catford, South London. The band achieved success in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when they were often associated with the burgeoning New Romantic fashion movement .- History :The band began as a group of friends...

 track "Taking Islands In Africa". In 1982, Sakamoto worked on another collaboration with Sylvian, a single entitled "Bamboo Houses/Bamboo Music
Bamboo Houses
"Bamboo Houses" is a song by Japanese musician-composer Ryuichi Sakamoto and English singer-songwriter David Sylvian, released on Virgin Records in 1982....

". That same year, his collaboration with Kiyoshiro Imawano
Kiyoshiro Imawano
, born , was a Japanese rock musician, lyricist, composer, musical producer, and actor from Tokyo, Japan. He was dubbed "Japan's King of Rock". He formed and led an influential rock band RC Succession....

, "Ikenai Rouge Magic", topped the Oricon
Oricon
, established in 1999, is the holding company at the head of a Japanese corporate group that supplies statistics and information on music and the music industry in Japan. It started as , which was founded by Sōkō Koike in November 1967 and became known for its music charts. Oricon Inc...

 singles chart. In 1983, he produced Mari Iijima
Mari Iijima
is a Japanese singer-songwriter who has released over 20 original albums to date. She writes and produces most of her own music, is a multi-instrumentalist, and is an accomplished piano player. After being signed to JVC Victor in 1982, Mari first became known for her voice-acting role as Lynn...

's debut album Rose.

Following the disbanding of Yellow Magic Orchestra in 1983, Sakamoto released a number of solo albums during the 1980s. While primarily focused on the piano and synthesizer, this series of albums boasted a roster of collaborators that included David Sylvian, David Byrne
David Byrne (musician)
David Byrne is a musician and artist, best known as a founding member and principal songwriter of the American new wave band Talking Heads, which was active between 1975 and 1991. Since then, Byrne has released his own solo recordings and worked with various media including film, photography,...

, Thomas Dolby
Thomas Dolby
Thomas Dolby is an English musician and producer. Best known for his 1982 hit "She Blinded Me with Science", and 1984 single "Hyperactive!", he has also worked extensively in production and as a session musician.-Early life:Dolby was born in London, England, contrary to information in early 1980s...

, Nam June Paik
Nam June Paik
Nam June Paik was a Korean American artist. He worked with a variety of media and is considered to be the first video artist....

, and Iggy Pop
Iggy Pop
Iggy Pop is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and actor. Though considered an innovator of punk rock, Pop's music has encompassed a number of styles over the years, including pop, metal, jazz and blues...

, among others. Sakamoto would alternate between exploring a variety of musical styles, ideas, and genres – captured most notably in his groundbreaking 1983 album Illustrated Musical Encyclopedia – and focusing on a specific subject or theme, such as the Italian Futurism
Futurism
Futurism was an artistic and social movement that originated in Italy in the early 20th century.Futurism or futurist may refer to:* Afrofuturism, an African-American and African diaspora subculture* Cubo-Futurism* Ego-Futurism...

 movement in Futurista (1986). At times, Sakamoto would also present varying interpretations of technology's intersection with music: He would present some pieces, such as "Replica", with Kraftwerk
Kraftwerk
Kraftwerk is an influential electronic music band from Düsseldorf, Germany. The group was formed by Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider in 1970, and was fronted by them until Schneider's departure in 2008...

ian rigidity and order, while he would infuse humanity and humor into others – "Broadway Boogie Woogie", for example, liberally lifts samples from Ridley Scott
Ridley Scott
Sir Ridley Scott is an English film director and producer. His most famous films include The Duellists , Alien , Blade Runner , Legend , Thelma & Louise , G. I...

's film Blade Runner
Blade Runner
Blade Runner is a 1982 American science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, and Sean Young. The screenplay, written by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples, is loosely based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K...

and pairs them with a raucous, sax-driven techno-pop backdrop.

As his solo career began to extend outside Japan in the late 1980s, Sakamoto's explorations, influences, and collaborators followed suit. Beauty (1989) boasted a tracklist that combined pop and traditional Japanese and Okinawan songs, yet featured guest appearances by Jill Jones
Jill Jones
Jill Jones is an American singer and songwriter, who was a backing vocalist for Teena Marie and Prince in the 1980s.-Biography:...

, Brian Wilson
Brian Wilson
Brian Douglas Wilson is an American musician, best known as the leader and chief songwriter of the group The Beach Boys. Within the band, Wilson played bass and keyboards, also providing part-time lead vocals and, more often, backing vocals, harmonizing in falsetto with the group...

, and Robbie Robertson
Robbie Robertson
Robbie Robertson, OC; is a Canadian singer-songwriter, and guitarist. He is best known for his membership as the guitarist and primary songwriter within The Band. He was ranked 59th in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time...

. Heartbeat
Heartbeat (Sakamoto album)
-Track listing:All songs written by Ryuichi Sakamoto, except where noted.# "Heartbeat" 4:46# "Rap the World" 4:53# "Triste" 4:23# "Lulu" 4:19# "High Tide" 4:47...

(1991) and Sweet Revenge (1994), meanwhile, looked to international horizons and worked with a global range of artists such as Roddy Frame
Roddy Frame
Roddy Frame is a Scottish singer-songwriter and musician, who was the founder of the 1980s indie band, Aztec Camera, and more recently is a solo performer.-Career:...

, Dee Dee Brave, Marco Prince, Arto Lindsay
Arto Lindsay
Arthur Morgan Lindsay is an American guitarist, singer, record producer and experimental composer. He is a 1974 graduate of Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida....

, Youssou N'Dour
Youssou N'Dour
Youssou N'Dour is a Senegalese singer, percussionist and occasional actor. In 2004, Rolling Stone described him as, in Senegal and much of Africa, "perhaps the most famous singer alive." He helped develop a style of popular music in Senegal, known in the Serer language as mbalax, a type of music...

, David Sylvian
David Sylvian
David Sylvian is an English singer-songwriter and musician who came to prominence in the late 1970s as the lead vocalist and main songwriter in the group Japan...

, and Ingrid Chavez
Ingrid Chavez
Ingrid Julia Chavez is a Mexican-American poet, vocalist, songwriter and photographer.-Personal life:Chavez was born January 21, 1965 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States, and raised in Marietta, Georgia...

. 1996 saw the appearance of two notable albums: Smoochy, which fused pop and electronica with bossa nova
Bossa nova
Bossa nova is a style of Brazilian music. Bossa nova acquired a large following in the 1960s, initially consisting of young musicians and college students...

 and other South American forms, and 1996, which featured a number of previously released pieces arranged for solo piano, accompanied with violin and cello.

Following 1996, Sakamoto simultaneously delved into the classical and "post-techno" genres with Discord (1998), an hour-long orchestral work in four parts. Here he evoked the melodic qualities of his film score work, imbued with the influence of 20th century classical composers and spoken word. The Sony Classical release also featured an interactive CD-ROM
CD-ROM
A CD-ROM is a pre-pressed compact disc that contains data accessible to, but not writable by, a computer for data storage and music playback. The 1985 “Yellow Book” standard developed by Sony and Philips adapted the format to hold any form of binary data....

 component and website that complemented the work. Shortly thereafter, the Ninja Tune
Ninja Tune
Ninja Tune is a London-based independent record label started by DJs Matt Black and Jonathan More, better known as Coldcut and managed by Peter Quicke. The label has a strong leaning towards mostly Electronic Music...

 record label released a series of remixes of various sections, produced by a number of prominent electronica artists, including Amon Tobin
Amon Tobin
Amon Adonai Santos de Araújo Tobin , known as Amon Tobin, is a Brazilian musician, composer and producer of electronic music. He is described as a virtuoso sound designer and is considered to be one of the most influential electronic music artists in the world...

, Talvin Singh
Talvin Singh
Talvin Singh Matharoo , is a producer and composer and tabla player, known for creating an innovative fusion of Indian classical music and drum and bass...

 and DJ Spooky
DJ Spooky
Paul D. Miller , known by his stage name DJ Spooky, That Subliminal Kid, is a Washington DC-born electronic and experimental hip hop musician whose work is often called by critics or his fans as "illbient" or "trip hop". He is a turntablist, a producer, a philosopher, and an author...

.

The next album, BTTB
BTTB (album)
BTTB is a 1999 piano solo album by Ryuichi Sakamoto. The album title is an acronym for "Back To The Basics".-Track listing:All compositions by Ryuichi Sakamoto.# "Energy Flow" 4:36# "Put Your Hands Up" 4:51# "Railroad Man" 4:42# "Opus" 4:27...

(1998) – an acronym for "Back to the Basics" – was a fairly opaque reaction to the prior year's multilayered, lushly orchestrated Discord. The album comprised a series of original pieces on solo piano, including "Energy Flow" (a major hit in Japan) and a frenetic, four-hand arrangement of the Yellow Magic Orchestra classic "Tong Poo." On the BTTB U.S. tour, he opened the show performing a brief avant-garde
Avant-garde
Avant-garde means "advance guard" or "vanguard". The adjective form is used in English to refer to people or works that are experimental or innovative, particularly with respect to art, culture, and politics....

 DJ
Turntablism
Turntablism is the art of manipulating sounds and creating music using phonograph turntables and a DJ mixer.The word 'turntablist' was coined in 1995 by DJ Babu to describe the difference between a DJ who just plays records, and one who performs by touching and moving the records, stylus and mixer...

 set under the stage name DJ Lovegroove.

1999 saw the long-awaited release of Sakamoto's "opera" LIFE. It premiered with seven sold-out performances in Tokyo and Osaka. This ambitious multi-genre multi-media project featured contributions by over 100 performers, including Pina Bausch
Pina Bausch
Philippina "Pina" Bausch was a German performer of modern dance, choreographer, dance teacher and ballet director...

, Bernardo Bertolucci
Bernardo Bertolucci
Bernardo Bertolucci is an Italian film director and screenwriter, whose films include The Conformist, Last Tango in Paris, 1900, The Last Emperor and The Dreamers...

, Josep Carreras, His Holiness The Dalai Lama and Salman Rushdie.

Sakamoto later teamed with cellist Jaques Morelenbaum
Jaques Morelenbaum
Jaques Morelenbaum is a Brazilian instrumentalist, arranger, conductor, composer and music producer.Morelenbaum is the son of conductor Henrique Morelenbaum and piano teacher Sarah Morelenbaum. His siblings are Lucia Morelenbaum, clarinetist of the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra; and Eduardo...

 (a member of his 1996 trio), and Morelenbaum's wife, Paula
Paula Morelenbaum
Regina Paula Martins Morelenbaum is a Brazilian singer, born in Rio de Janeiro. She and her husband Jaques Morelenbaum were in the band that toured with Antonio Carlos Jobim from 1984–1994....

, on a pair of albums celebrating the work of bossa nova
Bossa nova
Bossa nova is a style of Brazilian music. Bossa nova acquired a large following in the 1960s, initially consisting of young musicians and college students...

 pioneer Antonio Carlos Jobim
Antônio Carlos Jobim
Antônio Carlos Brasileiro de Almeida Jobim , also known as Tom Jobim , was a Brazilian songwriter, composer, arranger, singer, and pianist/guitarist. He was a primary force behind the creation of the bossa nova style, and his songs have been performed by many singers and instrumentalists within...

. They recorded their first album, Casa (2001), mostly in Jobim's home studio in Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro , commonly referred to simply as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper, making it the 6th...

, with Sakamoto performing on the late Jobim's grand piano. The album was well received, having been included in the list of New York Times's top albums of 2002.

Sakamoto collaborated with Alva Noto
Alva Noto
Alva Noto is a stage name of sound artist Carsten Nicolai who uses art and music as complementary tools to create microscopic views of creative processes. Another alias he uses is Noto...

 (an alias of Carsten Nicolai) to release Vrioon
Vrioon
Vrioon is a 2002 collaboration between Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alva Noto.Characterized by an unusual experimental sound , it weaves an electronic minimalism spreading a very little amount of notes during the songs. The album was elected among the first 50 albums of 2003 by magazine The Wire...

, an album of Sakamoto's piano clusters treated by Nicolai's unique style of digital manipulation, involving the creation of "micro-loops" and minimal percussion. The two produced this work by passing the pieces back and forth until both were satisfied with the result. This debut, released on German label Raster-Noton
Raster-Noton
Raster-Noton is a German electronic music record label founded in 1996 by Olaf Bender, Carsten Nicolai and Frank Bretschneider. Based in Chemnitz, Germany, Raster-Noton merged in 1999 from separate labels Rastermusik and Noton .The collective label's aesthetic focus is rhythmic, minimal electronic...

, was voted record of the year 2004 in the electronica category by British magazine The Wire
The Wire (magazine)
The Wire is a British avant garde music magazine, founded in 1982 by jazz promoter Anthony Wood and journalist Chrissie Murray. The magazine initially concentrated on contemporary jazz and improvised music, but branched out in the early 1990s to various types of experimental music...

. They later released Insen (2005) – while produced in a similar manner to Vrioon, this album is somewhat more restrained and minimalist.

Meanwhile, Sakamoto continues to craft music to suit any context: In 2005, Finnish
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

 mobile phone manufacturer Nokia
Nokia
Nokia Corporation is a Finnish multinational communications corporation that is headquartered in Keilaniemi, Espoo, a city neighbouring Finland's capital Helsinki...

 hired Sakamoto to compose ring and alert tones for their high-end phone, the Nokia 8800
Nokia 8800
The Nokia 8800 is a luxury mobile phone produced by Nokia, based on the Nokia Series 40 operating system. The 8800 features a stainless-steel housing with a scratch-resistant screen and has a weight of 134 grams...

. A recent reunion with YMO pals Hosono and Takahashi also caused a stir in the Japanese press. They released a single "Rescue" in 2007 and a DVD "HAS/YMO" in 2008. Sakamoto's latest album, Out Of Noise, was released on March 4, 2009 in Japan. In July 2009 Sakamoto was honored as Officier of Ordre des Arts et des Lettres
Ordre des Arts et des Lettres
The Ordre des Arts et des Lettres is an Order of France, established on 2 May 1957 by the Minister of Culture, and confirmed as part of the Ordre national du Mérite by President Charles de Gaulle in 1963...

 at the French Embassy in Tokyo.

Film composer and actor


Moviegoers may recognize Sakamoto primarily through his score work on two films: Nagisa Oshima
Nagisa Oshima
is a Japanese film director and screenwriter. After graduating from Kyoto University he was hired by Shochiku Ltd. and quickly progressed to directing his own movies, making his debut feature A Town of Love and Hope in 1959....

's Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence
Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence
Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence is a 1983 film directed by Nagisa Oshima, produced by Jeremy Thomas and starring Jack Thompson, David Bowie, Tom Conti, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Yuya Uchida, and Takeshi Kitano.It was written by Oshima and Paul Mayersberg and based on Laurens van der Post's experiences...

(1983), including the title theme and the duet "Forbidden Colours
Forbidden Colours
"Forbidden Colours" is a song composed by Ryuichi Sakamoto with lyrics by David Sylvian. The song is the vocal version of the theme from the Nagisa Oshima film Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence and was first released on the soundtrack album...

" with David Sylvian
David Sylvian
David Sylvian is an English singer-songwriter and musician who came to prominence in the late 1970s as the lead vocalist and main songwriter in the group Japan...

, and Bernardo Bertolucci
Bernardo Bertolucci
Bernardo Bertolucci is an Italian film director and screenwriter, whose films include The Conformist, Last Tango in Paris, 1900, The Last Emperor and The Dreamers...

's The Last Emperor
The Last Emperor
The Last Emperor is a 1987 biopic about the life of Puyi, the last Emperor of China, whose autobiography was the basis for the screenplay written by Mark Peploe and Bernardo Bertolucci. Independently produced by Jeremy Thomas, it was directed by Bertolucci and released in 1987 by Columbia Pictures...

(1987), the latter of which earned him the Academy Award
Academy Awards
An Academy Award, also known as an Oscar, is an accolade bestowed by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers...

 with fellow composers David Byrne
David Byrne (musician)
David Byrne is a musician and artist, best known as a founding member and principal songwriter of the American new wave band Talking Heads, which was active between 1975 and 1991. Since then, Byrne has released his own solo recordings and worked with various media including film, photography,...

 and Cong Su
Cong Su
Cong Su is a Chinese composer.He studied at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, then in Germany. He has lectured on music theory, music analysis, film music and ballet music at the Musikhochschule in Munich...

. In that same year he composed the score to the cult-classic anime
Anime
is the Japanese abbreviated pronunciation of "animation". The definition sometimes changes depending on the context. In English-speaking countries, the term most commonly refers to Japanese animated cartoons....

 film Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise
Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honneamise
is a 1987 Japanese animated science fiction film and the first film produced by Gainax and Bandai Visual. It was directed and written by Hiroyuki Yamaga with assistant director Takami Akai. The film would eventually be a critically acclaimed Gainax classic, but it was poorly received and sold only...

.

Frequent collaborator David Sylvian contributed lead vocals to "Forbidden Colours" – the main theme to Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence – which became a minor hit. Sixteen years later, the piece resurfaced as a popular dance track called "Heart of Asia" (by the group Watergate).

Other films scored by Sakamoto include Pedro Almodóvar
Pedro Almodóvar
Pedro Almodóvar Caballero is a Spanish film director, screenwriter and producer.Almodóvar is arguably the most successful and internationally known Spanish filmmaker of his generation. His films, marked by complex narratives, employ the codes of melodrama and use elements of pop culture, popular...

's Tacones lejanos (High Heels) (1991), Bertolucci's The Little Buddha
Little Buddha
Little Buddha is a 1994 feature film by Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci, starring Bridget Fonda and Keanu Reeves. Made by Bertolucci's regular partner, British producer Jeremy Thomas, it marked the team's return to the East after The Last Emperor....

(1993), Oliver Stone
Oliver Stone
William Oliver Stone is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. Stone became well known in the late 1980s and the early 1990s for directing a series of films about the Vietnam War, for which he had previously participated as an infantry soldier. His work frequently focuses on...

's Wild Palms
Wild Palms
Wild Palms is a six-hour mini-series, which first aired in May 1993 on the ABC network in the United States. Written by Bruce Wagner, who was also the executive producer, Wild Palms was a sci-fi drama about the dangers of brainwashing through technology and drugs...

(1993), John Maybury
John Maybury
John Maybury is an English filmmaker. In 2005 he was listed as one of the 100 most influential gay and lesbian people in Britain.-Early life:...

's Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon
Love is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon
Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon is a 1998 film made for television by the British Broadcasting Corporation . It was written and directed by John Maybury and stars Derek Jacobi, Daniel Craig, and Tilda Swinton....

(1998), Brian De Palma
Brian De Palma
Brian Russell De Palma is an American film director and writer. In a career spanning over 40 years, he is probably best known for his suspense and crime thriller films, including such box office successes as the horror film Carrie, Dressed to Kill, Scarface, The Untouchables, and Mission:...

's Snake Eyes
Snake Eyes (film)
Snake Eyes is a conspiracy thriller film directed by Brian De Palma, one featuring his trademark use of long tracking shots and split screens. It starred Nicolas Cage, Gary Sinise and Carla Gugino....

(1998) and Femme Fatale
Femme Fatale (2002 film)
Femme Fatale is a 2002 French mystery film directed by Brian De Palma. The film stars Rebecca Romijn as the femme fatale and Antonio Banderas...

(2002), Oshima's Gohatto (1999), and Kiran Rao
Kiran Rao
Kiran Rao is an Indian film producer, screenwriter, and director.-Early life:Rao was born in Bangalore into a Konkani family on November 7, 1973. She was raised in Calcutta where she attended Loreto House and La Martiniere Calcutta. In 1992, her parents decided to leave Calcutta so she shifted to...

's Dhobi Ghat (2011). He also composed the score of the opening ceremony for the 1992 Summer Olympics
1992 Summer Olympics
The 1992 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the Games of the XXV Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event celebrated in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, in 1992. The International Olympic Committee voted in 1986 to separate the Summer and Winter Games, which had been held in the same...

 in Barcelona, Spain, telecast live to an audience of over a billion viewers.

Several tracks from Sakamoto's earlier solo albums have also appeared in film soundtracks. In particular, variations of "Chinsagu No Hana" (from Beauty) and "Bibo No Aozora" (from 1996) provide the poignant closing pieces for Sue Brooks's Japanese Story
Japanese Story
Japanese Story is a 2003 Australian romantic drama film directed by Sue Brooks. It was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival.-Plot:...

(2003) and Alejandro González Iñárritu
Alejandro González Iñárritu
Alejandro González Iñárritu is a Mexican film director.González Iñárritu is the first Mexican director to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director and by the DGA of America for Best Director. He is also the first and only Mexican born director to have won the Prix de la mise en scene...

's Babel (2006), respectively.

Sakamoto has also acted in several films: perhaps his most notable performance was as the conflicted Captain Yonoi in Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence, alongside Takeshi Kitano
Takeshi Kitano
is a Japanese filmmaker, comedian, singer, actor, film editor, presenter, screenwriter, author, poet, painter, and one-time video game designer who has received critical acclaim, both in his native Japan and abroad, for his highly idiosyncratic cinematic work. The famed Japanese film critic...

 and British rock singer David Bowie
David Bowie
David Bowie is an English musician, actor, record producer and arranger. A major figure for over four decades in the world of popular music, Bowie is widely regarded as an innovator, particularly for his work in the 1970s...

. He also played roles in The Last Emperor
The Last Emperor
The Last Emperor is a 1987 biopic about the life of Puyi, the last Emperor of China, whose autobiography was the basis for the screenplay written by Mark Peploe and Bernardo Bertolucci. Independently produced by Jeremy Thomas, it was directed by Bertolucci and released in 1987 by Columbia Pictures...

( as Masahiko Amakasu) and Madonna
Madonna (entertainer)
Madonna is an American singer-songwriter, actress and entrepreneur. Born in Bay City, Michigan, she moved to New York City in 1977 to pursue a career in modern dance. After performing in the music groups Breakfast Club and Emmy, she released her debut album in 1983...

's "Rain
Rain (Madonna song)
"Rain" is a single by American singer-songwriter Madonna and was released on July 17, 1993 by Maverick Records. It was the fifth single release from her fifth studio album Erotica...

" music video.

Personal life


Sakamoto has been married twice. His first marriage took place in 1972 but ended in divorce two years later. Sakamoto has a daughter from this relationship. Sakamoto then married popular Japanese pianist and singer Akiko Yano
Akiko Yano
is a Japanese pop and jazz musician and singer. She was born as Akiko Suzuki in Tokyo and raised in Aomori, Aomori, and later began her singing career in the mid-1970s...

 in 1982, having collaborated with her on some of her recordings. Yano was also a regular touring member of Yellow Magic Orchestra
Yellow Magic Orchestra
Sakamoto first worked with Hosono as a member of his live band in 1976, while Takahashi recruited Sakamoto to produce his debut solo recording in 1977 following the split of the Sadistic Mika Band...

. They finally divorced in August 2006, 14 years after a mutual decision to live separately. They had one daughter, J-pop
J-pop
, an abbreviation for Japanese pop, is a musical genre that entered the musical mainstream of Japan in the 1990s. Modern J-pop has its roots in 1960s music, such as The Beatles, and replaced kayōkyoku in the Japanese music scene...

 singer Miu Sakamoto
Miu Sakamoto
is a Japanese pop singer. She is the daughter of musicians Ryuichi Sakamoto and Akiko Yano.- Albums :* aquascape * DAWN PINK * Harmonious...

.

In 1998, Italian ethnomusicologist Massimo Milano
Massimo Milano
Massimo Milano is an ethnomusicologist, critic and sound experimentalist. Member of "A.I.STU.GIA" and of the International Jury of the Down Beat Annual Critics Poll , he has been editor-in-chief of the monthly magazine "Finis Terrae" , for which he interviewed Zimbabwe's musical...

 published Ryuichi Sakamoto. Conversazioni
Ryuichi Sakamoto. Conversazioni
Ryuichi Sakamoto. Conversazioni is a book by Massimo Milano. It features interviews between Milano and Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, who talks about his peculiar philosophy of life, his multi-directional approach to music, his classical training, new musical trends and the interaction of his...

, a collection of essays and conversations.

He is also known as a critic of copyright law, arguing that it is antiquated in the information age
Information Age
The Information Age, also commonly known as the Computer Age or Digital Age, is an idea that the current age will be characterized by the ability of individuals to transfer information freely, and to have instant access to knowledge that would have been difficult or impossible to find previously...

. He argued that in "the last 100 years, only a few organisations have dominated the music world and ripped off both fans and creators" and that "with the internet we are going back to having tribal attitudes towards music." He is a member of anti-nuclear organization Stop Rokkasho
Stop Rokkasho
Stop Rokkasho is a project run by the Japanese NGO Boomerang Net and headed up by musician Ryuichi Sakamoto. In order to bring attention to the nuclear reprocessing plant in Rokkasho in Aomori Prefecture, they get artists to contribute songs and other art to the cause. The music and other media are...

 and demand the abolition of Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant
Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant
The is a nuclear power plant located in Omaezaki city, Shizuoka Prefecture, on Japan's east coast, 200 km south-west of Tokyo. It is managed by the Chubu Electric Power Company. There are five units contained at a single site with a net area of 1.6 km2 . A sixth unit began construction...

.

Awards


Ryuichi Sakamoto has won a number of awards for his work as a film composer, beginning with his score for Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence
Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence
Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence is a 1983 film directed by Nagisa Oshima, produced by Jeremy Thomas and starring Jack Thompson, David Bowie, Tom Conti, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Yuya Uchida, and Takeshi Kitano.It was written by Oshima and Paul Mayersberg and based on Laurens van der Post's experiences...

(1983) winning him the BAFTA Award for Best Film Music
BAFTA Award for Best Film Music
The Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music is an annual award given by British Academy of Film and Television Arts.-1960s:*1968 - The Lion in Winter - John Barry...

. His greatest award success was for scoring The Last Emperor
The Last Emperor
The Last Emperor is a 1987 biopic about the life of Puyi, the last Emperor of China, whose autobiography was the basis for the screenplay written by Mark Peploe and Bernardo Bertolucci. Independently produced by Jeremy Thomas, it was directed by Bertolucci and released in 1987 by Columbia Pictures...

(1987), which won him the Academy Award for Best Original Score
Academy Award for Best Original Score
The Academy Award for Original Score is presented to the best substantial body of music in the form of dramatic underscoring written specifically for the film by the submitting composer.-Superlatives:...

, Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score
Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score
The Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score is one of several categories presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association , an organization of journalists who cover the United States film industry, but are affiliated with publications outside North America, since its institution in 1947...

, and Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media
Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media
The Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media has been awarded since 1960. Until 2001 the award was presented to the composer of the music alone. From 2001 to 2006, the producer and engineers shared in this award...

, as well as a BAFTA
British Academy Film Awards
The British Academy Film Awards are presented in an annual award show hosted by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts . It is the British counterpart of the Oscars. As of 2008, it has taken place in the Royal Opera House, having taken over from the flagship Odeon cinema on Leicester Square...

 nomination.

His score for The Sheltering Sky
The Sheltering Sky (film)
The Sheltering Sky is a 1990 British-Italian drama film directed by Bernardo Bertolucci starring Debra Winger and John Malkovich. The film is based on the 1949 novel by Paul Bowles about a couple who journey to northern Africa in the hopes of rekindling their marriage but soon fall prey to the...

(1990) later won him his second Golden Globe Award
Golden Globe Award
The Golden Globe Award is an accolade bestowed by the 93 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association recognizing excellence in film and television, both domestic and foreign...

, and his score for Little Buddha
Little Buddha
Little Buddha is a 1994 feature film by Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci, starring Bridget Fonda and Keanu Reeves. Made by Bertolucci's regular partner, British producer Jeremy Thomas, it marked the team's return to the East after The Last Emperor....

(1993) received another Grammy Award
Grammy Award
A Grammy Award — or Grammy — is an accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry...

 nomination. In 1997, his collaboration with Toshio Iwai
Toshio Iwai
is a Japanese interactive media and installation artist who has also created a number of commercial video games. In addition he has worked in television, music performance, museum design and digital musical instrument design.-Education and early work:...

, Music Plays Images X Images Play Music, was awarded the Golden Nica, the grand prize of the Prix Ars Electronica
Prix Ars Electronica
The Prix Ars Electronica is one of the most important yearly prizes in the field of electronic and interactive art, computer animation, digital culture and music...

 competition. He also contributed to the Academy Award winning soundtrack for Babel
Babel (soundtrack)
Babel is the original soundtrack album, on the Concord label, of the 2006 Academy Award-nominated and Golden Globe Award-winning film Babel starring Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Adriana Barraza, Gael García Bernal, Rinko Kikuchi and Kôji Yakusho...

 (2006) with several pieces of music, including the "Bibo no Aozora" closing theme. In 2009, he was awarded the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres
Ordre des Arts et des Lettres
The Ordre des Arts et des Lettres is an Order of France, established on 2 May 1957 by the Minister of Culture, and confirmed as part of the Ordre national du Mérite by President Charles de Gaulle in 1963...

 from France's Ministry of Culture
Minister of Culture (France)
The Minister of Culture is, in the Government of France, the cabinet member in charge of national museums and monuments; promoting and protecting the arts in France and abroad; and managing the national archives and regional "maisons de culture"...

 for his musical contributions.

The music video for "Risky", written and directed by Meiert Avis, also won the first ever MTV "Breakthrough Video Award". The ground breaking video explores transhumanist philosopher FM-2030
FM-2030
FM-2030 was an author, teacher, transhumanist philosopher, futurist and consultant. FM-2030 was born Fereidoun M. Esfandiary ....

's (Persian: فریدون اسفندیاری) ideas of "Nostalgia for the Future", in the form of an imagined love affair between a robot and one of Man Ray
Man Ray
Man Ray , born Emmanuel Radnitzky, was an American artist who spent most of his career in Paris, France. Perhaps best described simply as a modernist, he was a significant contributor to both the Dada and Surrealist movements, although his ties to each were informal...

's models in Paris in the late 1930s. Additional inspiration was drawn from Jean Baudrillard
Jean Baudrillard
Jean Baudrillard was a French sociologist, philosopher, cultural theorist, political commentator, and photographer. His work is frequently associated with postmodernism and post-structuralism.-Life:...

, Edvard Munch
Edvard Munch
Edvard Munch was a Norwegian Symbolist painter, printmaker and an important forerunner of expressionist art. His best-known composition, The Scream, is part of a series The Frieze of Life, in which Munch explored the themes of love, fear, death, melancholia, and anxiety.- Childhood :Edvard Munch...

's 1894 painting "Puberty", and Roland Barthes
Roland Barthes
Roland Gérard Barthes was a French literary theorist, philosopher, critic, and semiotician. Barthes' ideas explored a diverse range of fields and he influenced the development of schools of theory including structuralism, semiotics, existentialism, social theory, Marxism, anthropology and...

 "Death of the Author
Death of the Author
The Death of the Author is a 1967 essay by the French literary critic and theorist Roland Barthes. Barthes's essay argues against traditional literary criticism's practice of incorporating the intentions and biographical context of an author in an interpretation of a text, and instead argues that...

". The surrealist black and white video uses stop motion, light painting, and other retro in-camera effects techniques. Meiert Avis shot Sakamoto while at work on the score for "The Last Emperor" in London. Sakamoto also appears in the video painting words and messages to an open shutter camera. Iggy Pop, who performs the vocals on "Risky", chose not to appear in the video, allowing his performance space to be occupied by the surrealist era robot.

Studio albums


Several albums exist in 2 versions, the original Japanese version and the international version, each having differences in tracklistings.
  • Thousand Knives (1978)
  • Tokyo Joe
    Tokyo Joe (album)
    Tokyo Joe is a 1978 album by Ryuichi Sakamoto and guitarist Kazumi Watanabe.The album was originally released in Japan in 1978, then re-released also in the Western countries in the 1980s.-Track listing:# "Tokyo Joe"# "The End of Asia"...

    (1978, with Kazumi Watanabe
    Kazumi Watanabe
    Kazumi Watanabe is a jazz and jazz fusion guitarist, from Tokyo, Japan. He was born on October 14, 1953 Kazumi learned to play guitar from Sadanori Nakamure, one of Japan's grandmaster guitarists. Kazumi released his first recording in 1971, and quickly became a promising guitarist in his own right...

    , more a compilation than a proper album, featuring an odd mix of tracks from Thousand Knives and from the eponymous album by Watanabe's short lived Kylyn band)
  • Summer Nerves (1979, with The Kakutogi Session)
  • B2-Unit (1980)
  • Left-Handed Dream (1981) (Tracklistings differ between Japanese and international issues)
  • The Arrangement (1981, with Robin Scott
    Robin Scott
    Robin Scott , lead singer and founder of a music project he called M, is a singer originally from the United Kingdom. His career encompasses four decades.-Early life:...

    ) (originally released as an EP, later expended into a full album containing the complete sessions)
  • The End of Asia (1982, with Danceries)
  • Ongakuzukan (1984) with the single Replica (the international release from 1986 is titled Illustrated Musical Encyclopedia, and has a different tracklisting)
  • Esperanto (1985)
  • Futurista (1986)
  • Coda (1986)
  • Neo Geo
    Neo Geo (album)
    -Track listing:# "Before Long" 1:20# "Neo Geo" 5:08# "Risky" 5:27# "Free Trading" 5:28# "Shogunade" 4:33 # "Parata" 4:21 # "Okinawa Song - Chin Nuku Juushii" 5:19 # "After All" 3:08-Personnel:*Ryuichi Sakamoto - keyboard, piano, computer...

    (1987)
  • Playing the Orchestra (1989)
  • Undo #1 (1989)
  • Beauty (1989)
  • Heartbeat
    Heartbeat (Sakamoto album)
    -Track listing:All songs written by Ryuichi Sakamoto, except where noted.# "Heartbeat" 4:46# "Rap the World" 4:53# "Triste" 4:23# "Lulu" 4:19# "High Tide" 4:47...

    (1991)
  • Benedict Beauty (1992)
  • Soundbytes (1994, compilation of tracks recorded 1981–1986)
  • Sweet Revenge (1994)
  • Smoochy (1995)
  • 1996 (1996)
  • Discord (1997)
  • BTTB
    BTTB (album)
    BTTB is a 1999 piano solo album by Ryuichi Sakamoto. The album title is an acronym for "Back To The Basics".-Track listing:All compositions by Ryuichi Sakamoto.# "Energy Flow" 4:36# "Put Your Hands Up" 4:51# "Railroad Man" 4:42# "Opus" 4:27...

    (1999)
  • Cinemage
    Cinemage
    Cinemage is a 1999 album by Ryuichi Sakamoto. It is a collection of six of his works for film soundtracks and events, recorded live during a 1998 tour with his orchestra...

    (1999)
  • Intimate (1999, with Keizo Inoue)
  • L I F E (2000)
  • In The Lobby
  • Comica (2002)
  • Elephantism (2002)
  • Moto.tronic (2003, Compilation of tracks recorded between 1983 & 2003)
  • Love (2003)
  • Chasm
    Chasm (Sakamoto album)
    Chasm is the 15th studio album by Ryuichi Sakamoto and was released in 2004. The album is experimental, pairing Sakamoto's piano work with ambient and glitch programming...

    (2004)
  • /04 (2004)
  • /05 (2005)
  • Cantus omnibus unus; for mixed or equal choir (2005)
  • Bricolages (2006)
  • Out of Noise (2009)
  • Playing the Piano
    Playing the Piano
    Playing the Piano is a concept album by Ryuichi Sakamoto which was first released in Japan in 2009. The album is completely instrumental and features Sakamoto covering his earlier work, such as the soundtracks to Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence and The Last Emperor, and also pop songs such as...

    (2009)

Original soundtracks and event scores

  • Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983) (Won BAFTA)
  • Works I – CM (released in 2002, featuring commissioned works from 1981–1984)
  • Koneko Monogatari (A Kitten's Story)
    The Adventures of Milo and Otis
    The Adventures of Milo and Otis is a live action Japanese film about an orange tabby cat named Milo and a fawn pug named Otis.The original Japanese version was released on June 27, 1986, and the reworked English language version was released on August 25, 1989.Initially filmed as Koneko Monogatari...

    (1986)
  • Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honnêamise
    Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honneamise
    is a 1987 Japanese animated science fiction film and the first film produced by Gainax and Bandai Visual. It was directed and written by Hiroyuki Yamaga with assistant director Takami Akai. The film would eventually be a critically acclaimed Gainax classic, but it was poorly received and sold only...

    (Ôritsu uchûgun Oneamisu no tsubasa) (1987)
  • The Last Emperor
    The Last Emperor (album)
    The Last Emperor is the soundtrack album for the movie of the same name. It features nine songs composed by Ryuichi Sakamoto, five by David Byrne, one from Cong Su, and a few incidental pieces of source music...

    (1987) (Won Oscar, Grammy, Golden Globe)
  • Fantasy of Light and Life (1989)
  • Black Rain (1989) – featuring his song "Laserman"
  • Tengai Makyo Ziria
    Tengai Makyō
    is a widely popular series of traditional console RPGs that are available in Japan and Taiwan.Though originally intended to be only three games, it has grown to encompass a number of remakes, gaidens and genre spin-offs across a variety of platforms...

    (1989) – video game
  • The Sheltering Sky
    The Sheltering Sky (soundtrack)
    The Sheltering Sky is the original soundtrack to the 1990 film The Sheltering Sky starring Debra Winger and John Malkovich. The original score was composed mainly by Ryuichi Sakamoto...

    (1990) (Won Golden Globe)
  • The Handmaid's Tale
    The Handmaid's Tale (film)
    The Handmaid's Tale is a 1990 film adaptation of the Margaret Atwood novel of the same name. Directed by Volker Schlöndorff the film stars Natasha Richardson , Faye Dunaway , Robert Duvall , Aidan Quinn , and Elizabeth McGovern . The screenplay was written by Harold Pinter...

     (1990)
  • Peachboy (Momotaro)
  • High Heels (1992)
  • Wuthering Heights
    Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights
    Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights was a 1992 feature film adaptation of Emily Brontë's novel Wuthering Heights directed by Peter Kosminsky....

    (1992)
  • "El Mar Mediterrani" (composition for Barcelona Olympics opening ceremony) (1992)
  • Topazu / Tokyo Decadence
    Tokyo Decadence
    is a 1992 Japanese film. The film was directed by Ryu Murakami with music by Ryuichi Sakamoto. The film stars Miho Nikaido and is known by two other titles, Topaz, Sex Dreams of Topaz. It has been banned in Australia and South Korea...

    (1992)
  • Wild Palms
    Wild Palms
    Wild Palms is a six-hour mini-series, which first aired in May 1993 on the ABC network in the United States. Written by Bruce Wagner, who was also the executive producer, Wild Palms was a sci-fi drama about the dangers of brainwashing through technology and drugs...

    (1993)
  • Little Buddha
    Little Buddha
    Little Buddha is a 1994 feature film by Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci, starring Bridget Fonda and Keanu Reeves. Made by Bertolucci's regular partner, British producer Jeremy Thomas, it marked the team's return to the East after The Last Emperor....

    (1993)
  • Music for Yohji Yamamoto Collection 1995
  • Stalker (1997)
  • Snake Eyes
    Snake Eyes (film)
    Snake Eyes is a conspiracy thriller film directed by Brian De Palma, one featuring his trademark use of long tracking shots and split screens. It starred Nicolas Cage, Gary Sinise and Carla Gugino....

    (1998)
  • Love is the devil (1998)
  • DreamCast (1998) – start-up sound for video game console
    Video game console
    A video game console is an interactive entertainment computer or customized computer system that produces a video display signal which can be used with a display device to display a video game...

  • Gohatto (1999)
  • Poppoya
    Poppoya
    is a 1999 Japanese film directed by Yasuo Furuhata. It was Japan's submission to the 72nd Academy Awards for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, but was not accepted as a nominee. It was chosen as Best Film at the Japan Academy Prize ceremony....

     (Main theme) (1999)
  • L.O.L.: Lack of Love
    L.O.L.: Lack of Love
    L.O.L.: Lack of Love, or simply Lack of Love, is an evolutionary adventure game developed by Love-de-Lic and published by ASCII Entertainment for the Sega Dreamcast...

    – Dreamcast video game (2000), for which he was also the scenario writer
  • Zero Landmine
    Zero Landmine
    Zero Landmine is an Extended play recording created to promote awareness of the problem of landmines and to promote a ban on landmines...

    (2001)
  • Minha Vida Como Un Filme (2002)
  • Femme Fatale
    Femme Fatale (2002 film)
    Femme Fatale is a 2002 French mystery film directed by Brian De Palma. The film stars Rebecca Romijn as the femme fatale and Antonio Banderas...

    (2002)
  • Century Of Reform (2002)
  • Derrida
    Derrida (film)
    Derrida is a 2002 American documentary film directed by Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering Kofman about the French philosopher Jacques Derrida. It premiered at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival before being released theatrically on October 23, 2002.-Synopsis:...

    (2002)
  • Japanese Story
    Japanese Story
    Japanese Story is a 2003 Australian romantic drama film directed by Sue Brooks. It was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival.-Plot:...

    (2003) – featuring "Chinsagu No Hana" (from Beauty)
  • Seven Samurai 20XX
    Seven Samurai 20XX
    is a PlayStation 2 game released by Sammy Studios in 2004. Its story and concept are based upon Akira Kurosawa's 1954 movie Seven Samurai. Rights for the production of the game were given by the Kurosawa production, with character designs by French artist Mœbius and the composition of the music by...

    PlayStation 2
    PlayStation 2
    The PlayStation 2 is a sixth-generation video game console manufactured by Sony as part of the PlayStation series. Its development was announced in March 1999 and it was first released on March 4, 2000, in Japan...

     video game (2004)
  • Shining Boy & Little Randy (2005)
  • Tony Takitani
    Tony Takitani
    Tony Takitani is a 2004 Japanese film directed by Jun Ichikawa, based on the short story by Haruki Murakami.-Inspiration:Haruki Murakami was intrigued by the name Tony Takitani when, at a garage sale on Maui, he found a yellow T-shirt that said, "Tony Takitani, House ."At the time, Takitani was...

    (2005)
  • Babel (2006) – featuring "Bibo No Aozora" (from 1996)
  • Dawn of Mana
    Dawn of Mana
    Dawn of Mana, known in Japan as , is an action-adventure game developed and published by Square Enix for Sony's PlayStation 2. The game is part of Square Enix's World of Mana project that also includes Children of Mana, Heroes of Mana and Friends of Mana. The game was released on December 21, 2006...

    (2006) – PlayStation 2 video game
  • Silk (2007)
  • Indigo (Short-Film) (2008)
  • Dhobi Ghat (India) (2011)
  • Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai
    Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai
    is a 2011 Japanese 3D drama film directed by Takashi Miike. It was produced by Jeremy Thomas and Toshiaki Nakazawa, who previously teamed with Miike on 2010's 13 Assassins. The film is a 3D re-imagining of Masaki Kobayashi's 1962 film Harakiri. It premiered In Competition at the 2011 Cannes Film...

    (2011)

With Carsten Nicolai, as alva noto + ryuichi sakamoto

  • Vrioon
    Vrioon
    Vrioon is a 2002 collaboration between Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alva Noto.Characterized by an unusual experimental sound , it weaves an electronic minimalism spreading a very little amount of notes during the songs. The album was elected among the first 50 albums of 2003 by magazine The Wire...

    (CD, 2002)
  • Insen
    Insen
    Insen is the second album in an ongoing collaboration between Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto and German electronic artist Carsten Nicolai . The album's core sound is a blend of Sakamoto's impressionist piano melodies and Nicolai's digitally processed beats and sounds...

    (CD, 2005)
  • Revep (CD EP, 2006)
  • Insen Live (DVD, 2006)
  • Utp
    Utp (CD)
    utp_ is the third LP collaboration between Alva Noto and Ryuichi Sakamoto. Ensemble Modern is featured on the CD as well.-Track listing:# Attack# Grains# Particle 1# Transition# Broken Line 1# Plateaux 1# Silence# Particle 2# Broken Line 2...

    (CD+DVD, 2008, with Ensemble Modern
    Ensemble Modern
    Ensemble Modern is a chamber ensemble dedicated to the music of modern composers. Formed in 1980, the group is based in Frankfurt, Germany and made up variously of about twenty members from numerous countries....

    )
  • Summvs (CD, 2011)

With Fennesz

  • Sala Santa Cecilia (2005, live EP)
  • Cendre
    Cendre
    Cendre is a 2007 studio album, a collaboration between Christian Fennesz and Ryuichi Sakamoto. It follows their previous collaboration on 2005's Sala Santa Cecilia.-Track listing:All songs by Sakamoto and Fennesz.# "Oto" - 3:49# "Aware" - 4:46...

    (2007)
  • Flumina (2011)

Other collaborations

  • Geisha Girls
  • Japan
    Japan (band)
    Japan were a British New Wave group, formed in 1974 in Catford, South London. The band achieved success in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when they were often associated with the burgeoning New Romantic fashion movement .- History :The band began as a group of friends...

    : Gentlemen Take Polaroids
    Gentlemen Take Polaroids
    Gentlemen Take Polaroids is the fourth studio album by the British band Japan. Released in November 1980, it was the band's first album for the Virgin Records label...

    (1980, features Ryuichi Sakamoto as co-writer of the track Taking Islands In Africa)
  • Mari Iijima
    Mari Iijima
    is a Japanese singer-songwriter who has released over 20 original albums to date. She writes and produces most of her own music, is a multi-instrumentalist, and is an accomplished piano player. After being signed to JVC Victor in 1982, Mari first became known for her voice-acting role as Lynn...

    : Rose (1983, produced by Ryuichi Sakamoto)
  • David Sylvian
    David Sylvian
    David Sylvian is an English singer-songwriter and musician who came to prominence in the late 1970s as the lead vocalist and main songwriter in the group Japan...

    : Brilliant Trees
    Brilliant Trees
    Brilliant Trees is the debut solo album by British singer/songwriter David Sylvian, released in 1984.-History:Produced by Sylvian with Steve Nye, it was his first full length release after the break-up of his band Japan in late 1982. The album peaked at no.4 in the UK, the highest chart position of...

    (1984, features Ryuichi Sakamoto on piano/synthesizers on 3 tracks)
  • David Sylvian
    David Sylvian
    David Sylvian is an English singer-songwriter and musician who came to prominence in the late 1970s as the lead vocalist and main songwriter in the group Japan...

    : Alchemy: An Index of Possibilities
    Alchemy: An Index of Possibilities
    Alchemy - An Index of Possibilities is David Sylvian's second solo album, released in 1985 on cassette only and produced by Sylvian and Nigel Walker...

    (1985, features Ryuichi Sakamoto on piano and strings on 1 track)
  • Thomas Dolby
    Thomas Dolby
    Thomas Dolby is an English musician and producer. Best known for his 1982 hit "She Blinded Me with Science", and 1984 single "Hyperactive!", he has also worked extensively in production and as a session musician.-Early life:Dolby was born in London, England, contrary to information in early 1980s...

    : Fieldwork (1985, written by Ryuichi Sakamoto and Thomas Dolby, featuring Thomas Dolby on vocals)
  • David Sylvian
    David Sylvian
    David Sylvian is an English singer-songwriter and musician who came to prominence in the late 1970s as the lead vocalist and main songwriter in the group Japan...

    : Secrets of the Beehive
    Secrets of the Beehive
    Secrets of the Beehive is the fourth solo album by David Sylvian and was released in 1987. Produced by Steve Nye and David Sylvian, the album features Ryuichi Sakamoto, David Torn, Mark Isham and Steve Jansen among others.-Track listing:...

    (1987, featuring Ryuichi Sakamoto on all 10 tracks)
  • David van Tieghem: Safety in Numbers (1989, features Ryuichi Sakamoto on keyboards on 2 tracks)
  • Hector Zazou
    Hector Zazou
    Hector Zazou was a prolific French composer and record producer who worked with, produced, and collaborated with an international array of recording artists...

    : Sahara Blue (1992, features Ryuichi Sakamoto on piano on 4 tracks)
  • Hector Zazou
    Hector Zazou
    Hector Zazou was a prolific French composer and record producer who worked with, produced, and collaborated with an international array of recording artists...

    : Strong Currents (2003, features Ryuichi Sakamoto on piano)
  • Aztec Camera
    Aztec Camera
    Aztec Camera were a Scottish New Wave band from the Glasgow suburb of East Kilbride, formed in 1980 and centered around teenage singer-songwriter, Roddy Frame. Their album Love was among the nominations for Best British Album at the 1989 BRIT Awards....

    : Dreamland
    Dreamland (Aztec Camera album)
    Dreamland is a studio album by the alternative rock band Aztec Camera, released in 1993.-Track listing:All songs written by Roddy Frame#"Birds" 4.56#"Safe in Sorrow" 4.56#"Black Lucia" 4.00#"Let Your Love Decide" 5.03#"Spanish Horses" 4.35...

    (1993, produced with Roddy Frame)
  • Holly Johnson
    Holly Johnson
    Holly Johnson is an English artist, writer and musician, best known as the lead vocalist of Frankie Goes to Hollywood, and former bassist for Big in Japan.- Big in Japan :...

    : Love And Hate
    Love and Hate (Ryuichi Sakamoto song)
    "Love and Hate" is a single from Ryuichi Sakamoto and former Frankie Goes to Hollywood singer Holly Johnson. The single was released in 1994. The song features Johnson on vocals...

    (1994), features Johnson on vocals
  • Arto Lindsay
    Arto Lindsay
    Arthur Morgan Lindsay is an American guitarist, singer, record producer and experimental composer. He is a 1974 graduate of Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida....

    : O Corpo Sutil (1996, features Ryuichi Sakamoto on 4 tracks)
  • Red Hot + Rio
    Red Hot + Rio
    Red Hot + Rio is a compilation album produced by Paul Heck as part of the Red Hot AIDS Benefit Series intended to promote AIDS awareness. This installment is a contemporary tribute to the Bossa nova sound, especially the music of Antonio Carlos Jobim...

    , produced by the Red Hot Organization
    Red Hot Organization
    Red Hot Organization is a not-for-profit, 501 3, international organization dedicated to fighting AIDS through pop culture.Since its inception in 1989, over 400 artists, producers and directors have contributed to over 15 compilation albums, related television programs and media events to raise...

    : É Preciso Perdoar (1996, Ryuichi Sakamoto performs keyboards for the duet sung by Cesária Évora
    Cesária Évora
    Cesária Évora is a Cape Verdean popular singer. Nicknamed the "barefoot diva" for performing without shoes, Évora is perhaps the best internationally known practitioner of "morna."-Early life:...

     and Caetano Veloso
    Caetano Veloso
    Caetano Emanuel Viana Teles Veloso , better known as Caetano Veloso, is a Brazilian composer, singer, guitarist, writer, and political activist. Veloso first became known for his participation in the Brazilian musical movement Tropicalismo which encompassed theatre, poetry and music in the 1960s,...

    )
  • David Sylvian
    David Sylvian
    David Sylvian is an English singer-songwriter and musician who came to prominence in the late 1970s as the lead vocalist and main songwriter in the group Japan...

    : Dead Bees on a Cake (1999, features Ryuichi Sakamoto on 7 tracks)
  • David Sylvian
    David Sylvian
    David Sylvian is an English singer-songwriter and musician who came to prominence in the late 1970s as the lead vocalist and main songwriter in the group Japan...

    : Everything and Nothing (2000, features Ryuichi Sakamoto on 9 tracks)
  • Senor Coconut: Yellow Fever!
    Yellow Fever!
    Yellow Fever! is a 2006 tribute album by Señor Coconut Y Su Conjunto . It is an album of covers done in a Latin American style....

    (2006, features Ryuichi Sakamoto on 1 track)
  • Willits + Sakamoto: Ocean Fire (2007, with Christopher Willits
    Christopher Willits
    Christopher Willits is a musician and multimedia artist located in San Francisco. Willits is "a prominent experimental musician from the San Francisco Bay area" and "a pioneer and a teacher, exploring new methodologies for signal processing.". He has been instrumental in redefining the guitar in...

    )
  • Les Nouvelles Polyphonies Corses
    Les Nouvelles Polyphonies Corses
    Les Nouvelles Polyphonies Corses is a Corsican revival band, concerned with the indigenous music of Corsica. It is the project of Patrizia Poli and Patrizia Gattaceca, who were heavily involved in the 1970s Corsican Roots Revival movement...

    : Les Nouvelles Polyphonies Corses (features Ryuichi Sakamoto on piano and backing vocals)
  • Ayuo
    Ayuo
    Ayuo is a Japanese-American composer, poet, lyricist, singer and performer of plucked string instruments including guitar, bouzouki, Irish harp, Chinese zheng, Japanese koto,and medieval European psaltery...

    : Memory Theatre (features Ryuichi Sakamoto on two tracks)
  • Rodrigo Leão
    Rodrigo Leão
    Rodrigo Leão is a Portuguese musician and composer. He was born in Lisbon in 1964. He became known for his musical compositions and participation in Portuguese bands such as Madredeus and Sétima Legião....

    : "Cinema" (features Ryuichi Sakamoto on 1 track)

Commmons


In 2006, Sakamoto, with avex Group's help, founded , a record label
Record label
In the music industry, a record label is a brand and a trademark associated with the marketing of music recordings and music videos. Most commonly, a record label is the company that manages such brands and trademarks, coordinates the production, manufacture, distribution, marketing and promotion,...

 promising change in the way music should be. For him, Commmons is not his label, but is a platform for all aspiring artists to join as equal collaborators and share for benefits of the music industry. The word Commmons has three M
M
M is the thirteenth letter of the basic modern Latin alphabet.-History:The letter M is derived from the Phoenician Mem, via the Greek Mu . Semitic Mem probably originally pictured water...

's because the 3rd M stands for music.

External links