Sad news as the magnificent Japanese composer and recording artist Ryuichi Sakamoto has died. He had been battling cancer for nearly a decade.
I loved his film scores—the key ones like Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, The Last Emperor, Wuthering Heights and Little Buddha—for their indelible melodies and lush, but always tasteful, orchestrations.
In fact, as a kid, even before founding Film Score Monthly, I was deeply enchanted with The Last Emperor. I was initially attracted to the David Byrne main title, but then fell in love with the Sakamoto orchestral score.
I got to see him play live in concert, on piano, in the late 1990s at the Avalon.
I’m really inadequate to discuss his massive career as a pop artist (with the Yellow Magic Orchestra) and classical composer. Here’s the New York Times obituary.
And one of his pop hits:
I really loved several of albums spotlighting his film themes: 1996, BTTB and Cineimage.
He leaves a massive musical legacy behind.