Friday, September 14, 2007

Ryuichi Sakamoto & Yellow Magic Orchestra Update

Ryuichi Sakamoto sends word about a YMO update, his podcast and a new score he’s working on.

YMO Reunion

The original members of Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO) were back together in Japan recently to celebrate the launch of the group’s first ever song being available for sale by download. Many obstacles have kept the group’s music off download sites for years, but they were recently able to record a new version of Rydeen, retitled Rydeen 79/07, available for sale in Japan from the commons/Avex label.

YMO teamed up with Kirin Beer to celebrate the occasion with the Kirin Lager meets YMO ad campaign. Since the site is in Japanese, we’ll save you a few hapless clicks by telling you to click on the yellow circle on the bottom right corner of the page.

Silk Soundtrack

Ryuichi Sakamoto is currently in production on the original motion picture score for director Francois Girard’s (The Red Violin), Silk. Based on a novel by Alessandro Baricco, Silk tells the story of a married silkworm merchant-turned-smuggler in 19th century France traveling to Japan for his town’s supply of silkworms after a disease wipes out their African supply. During his stay in Japan, he becomes obsessed with the concubine of a local baron. Starring Keira Knightley and Michael Pitt, Silk is currently slated for a fall, 2007 theatrical release.Radio Sakamoto Podcast

Highlights from Sakamoto’s J-Wave (Japan) radio show are now available around the globe via podcast. Generally airing six times a year, there are currently three episodes available for free download.

Radio Sakamoto podcast details
Additional information is available at the show’s J-Wave homepage (Japanes):

Ryuichi Sakamoto+Shiro Takatani Artists in Residence @ YCAM

Ryuichi Sakamoto+Shiro Takatani present the “LIFE - fluid, invisible, inaudible …” opening event with a special laptop concert on Saturday March 10th at the Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media (YCAM) in Yamaguchi, Japan. The opening will be followed by a special artist talk with Sakamoto and Takatani on March 11th.

After the opening “LIFE - fluid, invisible, inaudible …” can be experienced daily at YCAM through Monday, May 28th (closed Tuesdays) from 12:00 PM - 8:00 PM.

Chain-music updated

Sakamoto’s chain-music project has just been updated with a contribution from agf. The piece can be heard in its entirety at

To date, 22 artists have made a contribution to chain-music: Ryuichi Sakamoto, Haruomi Hosono, Towa Tei, Atom Heart, Ryoji Ikeda, Carsten Nicolai, David Sylvian, Mika (Pan Sonic), Thomas Knak, Cornelius, moOg Yamamoto, Christan Fennesz, Paul D. Miller (a/k/a DJ Spooky TSK), Daniel Bernard Roumain, Hector Zazou, mukul, Taylor Deupree, Christopher Willits, groopies, O.Lamm, sutekh, and more to follow!

Here’s Sakmoto’s official ‘notion’ for chain-music:

”In March, 2003, when the US invaded Iraq, I felt that I had to advocate peace over war, so I started this little web project. Even though the 100,000-plus Iraqi civilian and the 3,000-plus US military lives lost to date can’t be brought back, I want to keep this project alive and open until the war has ended, until peace comes to Iraq. The idea is to chain musical pieces from one artist to another, like a chain letter. The purpose is to musically mark the passage of time that Iraq is in a state of war, to mark the steps to peace, to take each day that there is war and build a musical memorial to the desire for peace as well as to mark off the time of war. So far 22 artists have contributed their musical pieces, adding on to the existing work vertically as well as horizontally, overlaying or extending the existing creation. There are no rules how to contribute musically, except that the contributor must not eliminate any of the existing music as he or she adds to it, because the existing music is the result of the artistic contribution of the other artists.”
-Ryuichi Sakamoto February, 2007


Babel recently won the THE ANTHONY ASQUITH AWARD for Achievement in Film Music at the 2007 Orange British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAS) for the original score composed by Gustavo Santaolalla. In additional to Santaolalla’s score, Babel also prominently features several Sakamoto compositions, including Bibo no Aozora in the film’s closing scenes.




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