His score for The Last Emperor won an Oscar, while his well-known music for Merry Christmas, Mister Lawrence gained a BAFTA. But in fact the Japanese composer, pianist, conductor, arranger and producer has made a career of crossing musical and technological boundaries. He has experimented with, and excelled in, many different musical styles, making a name for himself in popular, orchestral and electronic, as well as film music. Never one to mark time, he continues to push the limits of his artistry, fusing genres, styles, and technologies to create new and exciting directions in musical expression.
Since his first album more than three decades ago, Sakamoto has become an international sensation, both solo and with his Yellow Magic Orchestra, and his oriental-inspired music has brought a distinct Japanese sound to the Western world since the 1980s. His status has given rise to fruitful collaborations with many other stars, such as David Bowie, David Sylvian, David Byrne, Iggy Pop and Youssou N’dour. The brand new, 12-track album Playing The Piano is, however, simplicity itself. As the name suggests, it features Sakamoto as solo pianist. Captured live at concerts across Japan, he gives compelling interpretations of some of his best-known creations, including both The Last Emperor and Merry Christmas, Mister Lawrence. These evocative miniature tone-poems make for a relaxing yet musically stimulating delight; a highly accessible introduction to the artistry of one of the most extraordinary musicians of our time.
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