Ryuichi Sakamoto dies at 71. He was a Japanese musician, composer, and actor, and passed away today at the age of 71 after battling cancer for several years. Sakamoto was a pioneering figure in the world of music, known for his innovative and genre-defying style that blended classical, jazz, and electronic elements.
Sakamoto began his music career in the late 1970s as a member of the electronic group Yellow Magic Orchestra, which was known for their fusion of traditional Japanese music with electronic elements. He later went on to have a successful solo career, releasing numerous albums and collaborating with notable artists such as David Byrne, Iggy Pop, and Brian Wilson.
One of Sakamoto’s most significant achievements was his Academy Award-winning score for the 1987 film “The Last Emperor,” directed by Bernardo Bertolucci. The score captured the sweeping grandeur of the film and blended traditional Chinese music with Sakamoto’s unique style. He also composed music for television and theater productions, incorporating natural sounds such as wind and water into his compositions.
Sakamoto was also a passionate advocate for environmental causes and his work often reflected his concern for the planet. His 2011 album “async” was inspired by the Fukushima nuclear disaster and reflects on the impact of the disaster on Japan and the world.
Aside from his music career, Sakamoto was also a well-known actor, with notable roles in films such as “Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence” and “The Handmaid’s Tale.” For me, I will never forget his amazing soundtrack to Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, it was one of those truly unforgettable moments in cinematic history.
Sakamoto’s passing is a significant loss to the music world, but his music and legacy will continue to inspire generations to come. He will always be remembered as a musical pioneer and visionary, whose contributions to the world of music have left an indelible mark. Ryuichi Sakamoto Dies at 71.