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Ryuichi Sakamoto


When Ryuichi Sakamoto was a high schooler in Tokyo, he had to ride a commuter train to get to class. The passengers were always crammed on, trapping one another between stray limbs and contorted torsos. Unable to move, all the teenage Sakamoto could do was listen. He amused himself by counting the sounds the train made, identifying more than 10 that he would listen out for every morning.

Close listening is a habit that has carried Sakamoto through nearly 70 years of musical exploration, each decade leading him in new directions. He was born in 1952, the year John Cage composed 4′33″. When he was a toddler, he was introduced to the piano, an instrument he would go on to examine from many Cageian angles. As the ’70s bled into the ’80s, he segued from an ethnomusicology and composition degree to the role of keyboardist and songwriter for Yellow Magic Orchestra, the proto-synthpop group led by Haruomi Hosono. In the solo career years that followed, Sakamoto’s embrace of a new wave of electronic instruments led to fruitful experiments in fusing global genres, which in turn made way for close studies of classical impressionism. Many times over Sakamoto’s sonic path has leapt forward then looped back on itself, forever telling the present something of both its past and future.


Article: What is Jazz?

2024 Winter JazzFest Marathons: A Survival Guide

Read "2024 Winter JazzFest Marathons: A Survival Guide" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

Twenty years is a remarkable milestone for any activity, let alone one that comes with the wear and tear of a high-profile jazz festival that every year strives to up its own ante, like the Winter JazzFest. From January 11 to 18, 2024, fans, musicians, promoters and other industry people from around the world ...


Article: Radio & Podcasts

Sullivan Fortner, Elsa Nilsson, Isaiah Collier, Endea Owens & More

Read "Sullivan Fortner, Elsa Nilsson, Isaiah Collier, Endea Owens & More" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

Stevie Wonder, Maya Angelou, Ryuichi Sakamoto, the crazy world we live in, and the world immigrants left behind are some of the sources of inspiration of the intriguing music featured this week.Happy listening!Playlist Ben Allison “Mondo Jazz Theme (feat. Ted Nash & Pyeng Threadgill)" 0:00 Isaiah Collier “Retreat" Parallel Universe (Night Dreamer) ...


Article: Album Review

Asynchrone: Plastic Bamboo

Read "Plastic Bamboo" reviewed by Chris May

Put preconceptions aside and cast no nasturtiums. Against expectations, the free(ish) jazz / electro mash-up Plastic Bamboo is a winner, convincingly bringing together the unpredictability of the one with the robotic iterations of the other. The album collects eleven pieces written or co-written by Ryuichi Sakamoto, a founder member of Yellow Magic Orchestra in 1978 and ...


Article: Radio & Podcasts

A Tribute To Ryuichi Sakamoto & Emahoy Tsegue-Maryam Guebrou

Read "A Tribute To Ryuichi Sakamoto & Emahoy Tsegue-Maryam Guebrou" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

This week we dedicate our show to two artists who recently passed away, and who--even though very far apart in terms of geographical origins and life trajectories--shared a devotion to beauty, elegance and originality: Ryuichi Sakamoto and Emahoy Tsegue-Maryam Guebrou.Playlist Ben Allison “Mondo Jazz Theme (feat. Ted Nash & Pyeng Threadgill)" 0:00 Ryuichi Sakamoto ...

Results for pages tagged "Ryuichi Sakamoto"...


Billy Denk


Billy Denk is a guitarist, synthesist, and composer currently working on his latest recording "In Praise of Shadows."

He co-founded Jazz on the Square, a not-for-profit organization in Woodstock, Illinois, which promotes jazz performance, education, and the annual Woodstock Jazz Festival.

Billy hosted the Northern Sky Jazz Show on Harvard Community Radio 101.3 FM featuring music and interviews with musicians from Chicago and worldwide. ​

He has performed with Glazz Ensemble, Phil Ciancio, Ian Hall, John Weber Trio, Chris Greene Quartet, and Paul Abella Trio in addition to hosting concerts with his own trio and to perform solo works of his compositions.


Article: Radio & Podcasts

Adam O'Farrill: Removing the external

Read "Adam O'Farrill: Removing the external" reviewed by Leo Sidran

Trumpet player / composer / bandleader Adam O'Farrill on belonging to a rich musical legacy (he is the grandson of Chico O'Farrill and son of Arturo O'Farrill), how video games, literature and most of all the films of Paul Thomas Anderson and scored of Ryuichi Sakamoto have informed his work, what he learned from working with ...


Article: Book Review

Masayoshi Sukita: Eternity

Read "Masayoshi Sukita: Eternity" reviewed by Nenad Georgievski

Eternity Masayoshi Sukita 256 Pages ISBN: 9781788841078 ACC Art Books 2021 People may or may not recognize his name but they have certainly seen his photographs. For the past 50 years, photographer Masayoshi Sukita and his camera have captured an enormous number of genuinely emblematic images of pop ...


Article: Album Review

Skúli Sverrisson With Bill Frisell: Strata

Read "Strata" reviewed by Ian Patterson

A meeting of minds, of hearts and of souls. Strata may be the first recording of the duo of Icelandic bassist Skuli Sverrisson and guitarist Bill Frisell, but so attuned are the musicians to each other's wavelengths, and so spellbinding their common language, that you could be forgiven for thinking they had played in this format ...


Article: Radio & Podcasts

Japanese Iconoclasts - Part 2

Read "Japanese Iconoclasts - Part 2" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

From audiophile jazz labels, to definitive record stores and jazz kissaten, the outstanding jazz bars that provide a cozy place for jazz fans to congregate and share their love for jazz, Japan has traditionally been one of the most jazz-friendly countries in the world. Here is the second part of a special edition that pays tribute ...


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