Ryuichi Sakamoto and Kazumi Watanabe early session works. Compilation of tracks from the albums "Thousand Knives" (1978), "Kylyn" (1979), "Kylyn Live" (1979) and the track "Tokyo Joe" which appeared on a various artists anthology "Tokyo-Paris-London-New York, Dancing Night" (1982, track recorded 1979).
Sweet Revenge is an amazingly sophisticated album in which Sakamoto sets the distinctive and heart-rending chordal and harmonic ideas of his soundtrack work to trip-hop and neo-bossa-nova beats. The songs are fronted by a succession of guest vocalists who each contribute lyrics which add up to an amazingly coherent whole–a mature meditation on love, longing, conflict, revenge and regret. As usual, Sakamoto was ahead of his time. By spotlighting the deep poetry of J-ME and Latasha Natasha Diggs, this 1994 album anticipated by years the introspective hip-hop diva trend popularized by Lauryn Hill.
The Sheltering Sky is the original soundtrack to the 1990 film The Sheltering Sky (based on a novel by Paul Bowles) starring Debra Winger and John Malkovich. The original score was composed mainly by Ryuichi Sakamoto. The album won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score and the LAFCA Award for Best Music.
Ex-Talking Head David Byrne and actor/composer Ryuichi Sakamoto (who co-starred in the film) each get a side of this beautiful score to Bernardo Bertolucci's Academy Award-winning film, and each took home Oscars and Grammys for their efforts.
In the autumn of 2011, Ryuichi resurrected his piano, cello, and violin trio for a European Tour, showcasing new material as well as Ryuichi s timeless compositions accompanied by Cellist Jacques Morelenbaum, and Violinist Judy Kang. Immediately following the highly successful tour the trio entered a recording studio in Porto, Portugal to record a new album. The album, titled "THREE", includes new arrangements of Ryuichi's trio works, freshly recorded and re-imagined.
Commissioned by the city of Mannheim (Germany) for its 400th anniversary, UTP was co-composed by Carsten Nicolai (aka Alva Noto) and Ryuichi Sakamoto. The work, whose title is deducted from the word "utopia," is scored for electronics, piano, and chamber ensemble, the latter being Ensemble Modern. It consists in extremely slow-paced tableaux of stretched out octaves and skeletal motives, a Butoh-like performance. The piece is solemn and entrancing, like Morton Feldman's music – more elegant, perhaps. It marks a new step in the evolution of Nicolai and Sakamoto's music, together and apart, as neither of them had yet concocted something this sparse, this naked.
Following the success of 2014’s Birdman, director Alejandro G. Iñárritu pushes the limits of film making with the survival epic The Revenant. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy and shot in the frozen Canadian wilderness with only natural lighting, The Revenant is a story of loss, revenge and resilience in the face of impossible odds against the furies of man and nature itself. The film is heavily favored to be a critical darling as awards season gets under way. Director Iñárritu has chosen to forgo almost all dialogue in favor of a gorgeous soundscape and a sweeping score. A film of this magnitude deserves a composer who understands creative artistry and unbridled passion. Japanese master and Oscar winner Ryuichi Sakamoto (Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, The Last Emperor) fits the bill perfectly. Along with fellow Yellow Magic Orchestra member and frequent collaborator Alva Noto, Sakamoto has created a gripping soundtrack that is sure to be a treat for the winter crowds. Bryce Dessner (writer for Kronos Quartet and the LA Phil) also supplies additional music.