Exposé Online banner

Ryuichi Sakamoto — Playing the Piano / Out of Noise
(Decca 2717100, 2009, 2CD)

by Alessandro Michelucci, Published 2010-07-01

Playing the Piano / Out of Noise Cover artSome thirty-five years ago Japanese rock music was still an unknown subject, the only exception being percussionist Stomu Yamash’ta. Then came the Yellow Magic Orchestra, which marked the beginning of a peaceful invasion: today groups and composers from the Land of the Rising Sun are commonplace. Ryuichi Sakamoto, YMO founder and keyboardist, is still one of the most interesting composers from that country. Japanese artists, as everybody knows, have always been sensible to European culture. Sakamoto is too, but a strong Japanese flavor can always be perceived in his works. This is confirmed by his new CD, the deluxe version of which includes Out of Noise, his previous CD, which had not been circulated outside Japan. The Japanese composer’s discography includes several CDs which are released by his own label, Commmons (three M’s – no mistake), but are hard to find outside Japan. Playing the Piano is a collection of old tracks in piano solo versions, including “The Sheltering Sky” and world-renowned “Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence” (also known as “Forbidden Colours,” the title of David Sylvian’s sung version). The second CD, Out of Noise, is more experimental. It was conceived as part of a live performance that could only be purchased through iTunes. The twelve instrumental tracks range from experimentalism (“Tama”) to minimalism (“Hibari”). The final piece, “Composition 0919,” reaches atonality. “In the Red” is a dream-like electronic piece where voices and sounds melt with piano. “Hwit” and “Still Life” take us back to the soundtrack Sakamoto.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 38, 2009 releases

Related artist(s): Ryuichi Sakamoto

Latest news

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Sky Cries Mary - Here and Now - Live 2005 – For those of you familiar with this Seattle band, you will remember that they disbanded after their 1999 release Seeds to pursue different musical ideas. For example, their female vocalist Anisa...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues