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Playing The Piano / Sakamoto

Album Summary

>Sakamoto, Ryuichi : Amore, for piano
>Sakamoto, Ryuichi : Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, theme from the film score for piano
>Sakamoto, Ryuichi : A Flower Is Not a Flower, for piano
>Sakamoto, Ryuichi : The Sheltering Sky, theme from the film score for piano
>Sakamoto, Ryuichi : Tamago 2004, for piano
>Sakamoto, Ryuichi : The Last Emperor, theme from the film score for piano
>Sakamoto, Ryuichi : Tibetan Dance, for piano
>Sakamoto, Ryuichi : Thousand Knives
>Sakamoto, Ryuichi : Riot in Lagos, for piano
>Sakamoto, Ryuichi : Reversing, for piano
>Sakamoto, Ryuichi : Mizu no Naka no Bagtelle, for piano
>Sakamoto, Ryuichi : Bolerish, for piano
>Sakamoto, Ryuichi : Hibari, for piano
>Sakamoto, Ryuichi : Hwit, for piano
>Sakamoto, Ryuichi : Still Life, for piano
>Sakamoto, Ryuichi : In the Red, for piano
>Moose, Rob : Tama, for piano, violin & sho
>Sakamoto, Ryuichi : Nostalgia, for piano
>Sakamoto, Ryuichi : Firewater, for piano
>Oyamada, Keigo : Disko, for piano & guitar
>Oyamada, Keigo : Ice, for piano & guitar
>Takada, Ren : Glacier, for piano, cello & dobro
>Kotringo : To Stanford, for piano
>Sakamoto, Ryuichi : Composition, for piano
Performers Composers
Notes & Reviews:

In 2009, Universal International released Ryuichi Sakamoto's Playing the Piano, a collection of solo piano pieces he calls "self-covers"; that is, a newly recorded collection of his own compositons and themes performed solo. The set contains 12 selections. They are mostly themes from the films The Last Emperor, Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, and The Sheltering Sky, with cues from others including "Bolerish," from Brian DePalma's 2002 film Femme Fatale. For the most part, it is a spare and lovely beauty of an album, with few surpises save for the elegance that Sakamoto performs these indelible pieces with. In 2010, Decca Records in the U.S. re-relased this album as a deluxe edition with a new one entitled Out of Noise, recorded during 2009. It, too, contains a dozen selections, all but one composed and recorded the year of release. This disc is the real surpise in the specially packaged and priced set. It concerns itself where music fades and enters into noise, and the no man's land where noise sorts itself out into a system recognized as music. Unlike Playing the Piano, Out of Noise is a more challenging, yet more compelling listen. While it begins with the poetic, atmospheric solo piano piece "Hibari," as a coda to Disc 1, it quickly launches into "Hwit" and "Still Life," both recorded with the U.K.-based viol ensemble Fretwork. The ambient "In the Red," with field-recorded voice samples, features guitarist Christian Fennesz. In 2008, Sakamoto participated in the Cape Farewell Disko Bay Expedition to study and observe climate change; there he visited Greenland's fastest moving glacier. Three of the pieces here -- "Disko," "Ice," and "Glacier" -- reflect the place where Sakamoto claims he left part of his soul. In them, the sounds of the glaicer and the surrounding landscape were recorded, then treated in the studio and added to by other musicians, including guitarist Keigo Oyamada, vocalist Karen H. Filskov, and Skúlli Sverrisson, who plays dobro on the final one of these. "To Standford" is a solo jazz piano piece, or rather has inside its grain, the beauty and ternderness of great jazz pianists from Bill Evans to Errol Garner to Kenny Drew. Ultimately, it's Out of Noise that makes the entire package worth buying for the first time, or purchasing Playing the Piano again. Despite revealing already known dimensions of Sakamoto's musical persona, it also uncovers new ones. ~ Thom Jurek



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Works Details

>Sakamoto, Ryuichi : Amore, for piano
  • Performers: Ryuichi Sakamoto (Electronics); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Keyboards); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Piano)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Sakamoto, Ryuichi : Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, theme from the film score for piano
  • Performers: Ryuichi Sakamoto (Electronics); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Keyboards); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Piano)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 42 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Christmas

>Sakamoto, Ryuichi : A Flower Is Not a Flower, for piano
  • Performers: Ryuichi Sakamoto (Electronics); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Keyboards); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Piano)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Sakamoto, Ryuichi : The Sheltering Sky, theme from the film score for piano
  • Performers: Ryuichi Sakamoto (Electronics); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Keyboards); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Piano)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Sakamoto, Ryuichi : Tamago 2004, for piano
  • Performers: Ryuichi Sakamoto (Electronics); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Keyboards); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Piano)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 49 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Sakamoto, Ryuichi : The Last Emperor, theme from the film score for piano
  • Performers: Ryuichi Sakamoto (Electronics); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Keyboards); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Piano)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 42 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Sakamoto, Ryuichi : Tibetan Dance, for piano
  • Performers: Ryuichi Sakamoto (Electronics); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Keyboards); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Piano)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 22 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Sakamoto, Ryuichi : Thousand Knives
  • Performers: Ryuichi Sakamoto (Electronics); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Keyboards); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Piano)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 22 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1978

>Sakamoto, Ryuichi : Riot in Lagos, for piano
  • Performers: Ryuichi Sakamoto (Electronics); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Keyboards); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Piano)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 35 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Sakamoto, Ryuichi : Reversing, for piano
  • Performers: Ryuichi Sakamoto (Electronics); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Keyboards); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Piano)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 30 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Sakamoto, Ryuichi : Mizu no Naka no Bagtelle, for piano
  • Performers: Ryuichi Sakamoto (Electronics); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Keyboards); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Piano)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 45 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Sakamoto, Ryuichi : Bolerish, for piano
  • Performers: Ryuichi Sakamoto (Electronics); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Keyboards); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Piano)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Sakamoto, Ryuichi : Hibari, for piano
  • Performers: Ryuichi Sakamoto (Electronics); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Keyboards); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Piano)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Sakamoto, Ryuichi : Hwit, for piano
  • Performers: Ryuichi Sakamoto (Electronics); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Keyboards); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Piano); Tamami Touno (Viol)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 29 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Sakamoto, Ryuichi : Still Life, for piano
  • Performers: Ryuichi Sakamoto (Electronics); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Keyboards); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Piano); Shimmy Shimizu (Guitar); Tamami Touno (Sho); Tamami Touno (Viol)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 44 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Sakamoto, Ryuichi : In the Red, for piano
  • Performers: Christian Fennesz (Guitar); Keigo Oyamada (Guitar); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Electronics); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Keyboards); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Piano)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 32 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Moose, Rob : Tama, for piano, violin & sho
  • Performers: Rob Moose (Violin); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Electronics); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Keyboards); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Piano); Tamami Touno (Sho)
  • Notes: This work was written in collaboration with Tamami Touno, Ryuichi Sakamoto (1952 - ).
  • Running Time: 4 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Chamber Music

>Sakamoto, Ryuichi : Nostalgia, for piano
  • Performers: Rob Moose (Violin); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Electronics); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Keyboards); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Piano)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 38 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Sakamoto, Ryuichi : Firewater, for piano
  • Performers: Ryuichi Sakamoto (Electronics); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Keyboards); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Piano)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Oyamada, Keigo : Disko, for piano & guitar
  • Performers: Keigo Oyamada (Guitar); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Electronics); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Keyboards); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Piano)
  • Notes: This work was written in collaboration with Ryuichi Sakamoto (1952 - ).
  • Running Time: 3 min. 37 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Oyamada, Keigo : Ice, for piano & guitar
  • Performers: Keigo Oyamada (Guitar); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Electronics); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Keyboards); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Piano)
  • Notes: This work was written in collaboration with Ryuichi Sakamoto (1952 - ).
  • Running Time: 3 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Takada, Ren : Glacier, for piano, cello & dobro
  • Performers: Karen Filskov (Voice); Dana Leong (Cello); Dana Leong (Trombone); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Electronics); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Keyboards); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Piano); Skuli Sverrisson (Dobro)
  • Notes: This work was written in collaboration with Skúli Sverrisson, Ryuichi Sakamoto (1952 - ).
  • Running Time: 9 min. 44 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Chamber Music

>Kotringo : To Stanford, for piano
  • Performers: Ryuichi Sakamoto (Electronics); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Keyboards); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Piano)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 38 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Sakamoto, Ryuichi : Composition, for piano
  • Performers: Ryuichi Sakamoto (Electronics); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Keyboards); Ryuichi Sakamoto (Piano)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 30 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary