Playing The Piano - US Version
Released: Sep 2010
Ryuichi Sakamoto is renowned as a lyrical film composer, experimental noisemaker, Asian music master, bossa nova tourist and classical pianist. Not a bad career for a man who started out as one of the fathers of synth pop. On this two-disc set, Sakamoto shows off his skill as both a composer (his stately work in this regard has won him numerous awards, including an Oscar) and an innovative musician. He plays famous themes to The Last Emperor, Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence and The Sheltering Sky with two connected pianos at once. Then the Japanese master shifts gears on the second disc, putting together ravishingly melancholy sketches (such as "In the Red") that meld samples of actual melting glaciers, snatches of news dialog, and effects from his treated piano.