Arts & Entertainment

Ryuichi Sakamoto streams rare concert to fans around the world

Tokyo, Dec 11 (EFE).- Award-winning renowned Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, who has stage-4 cancer, on Sunday held a series of concerts streamed online for his followers around the world.

The pianist’s first concert as a soloist in two years, “Ryuichi Sakamoto: Playing the Piano 2022,” is being broadcast in four shows across Sunday and early Monday morning (Japan time) allowing his fans in various time zones to watch.

“In June 2020 I learned that I have cancer. Since then, I haven’t done much in public. My treatment is still ongoing,” the 70-year-old musician said in a video message Wednesday.

“I have much less energy now, so it’s difficult to play concerts that are sixty or ninety minutes in length. That’s why I filmed one song at a time here and had it edited together so it can feel like a concert.”

In an October message on Instagram about the concert, Sakamoto said: “I don’t have the energy to do live concerts… This might be the last time that you will see me perform in this manner.”

The songs were recorded in the well-known 509 Studio of the Japanese public broadcaster NHK, and is also a preview of the artist’s forthcoming album, “12.” The album will be released on Jan. 17, his 71st birthday, an involves work over several years, including those in which he has had cancer.

The pianist was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2014, from which he went into remission, but announced in early 2021 that he has rectal cancer. He has reportedly undergone surgeries since as the cancer has spread.

Awarded an Oscar for Best Original Score for the 1987 film “The Last Emperor,” Sakamoto is one of the most international Japanese creators of his time, with a complex body of work that has been made up of several stages, from the experimental Yellow Magic Orchestra to the creation of soundtracks.

Sakamoto has also won a BAFTA, a Grammy, and two Golden Globe Awards, and has written the music for hit titles such as “Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence” (1983), in which he also acted as the commander of a Japanese prisoner of war camp alongside David Bowie, as well as “The Last Emperor” and “The Revenant” (2015).

Sunday’s concert can be viewed across Asia, in Europe, Oceania, the United States, and South America, among other places, and tickets are priced at about 4,000 yen ($30). EFE


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