Ryūichi Sakamoto | Entre la meditación y la nada

Compositor de origen japonés que ha destacado en los géneros de la música clásica, electrónica y el synthpop, de los cuales también puede considerarse precursor. Luego de 8 años desde su último álbum, Sakamoto ha vuleto con async, una producción minimalista que, biográficamente, corrió paralela a los días que el compositor pasó luchando contra la enfermedad, un cáncer de garganta que le fue diagnosticado en junio del 2014.

Este detalle no es menor, pues desde el primer track, “andata”, Sakamoto nos presenta una atmósfera que oscila entre la meditación y la nada, entre el encuentro con la sencilla inmensidad y el regreso a la existencia simple en este mundo. En cierta forma, async da la impresión de ser un recorrido vital, uno de esos viajes que se emprenden quizá sin mucha planeación de por medio, acaso imprevistamente, pero que nos transforman porque en el ínterin descubrimos algo elemental de nosotros mismos.


ENG: Although the entire internet was well and truly rocked to its foundations a few months back by the triumphant return of Tokyo-born “composer, performer, producer, and environmentalist” Ryuichi Sakamoto to the hallows of original music-hood after an eight year hiatus and illness battle, it remained a mystery at the time as to precisely what FORM the experimental musician’s album-making-muse would take: 24-hour opera about a fictitious meeting between Claude Debussy and the Dalai Lama?? Lo-fi EP of live Rolling Stones covers???

But as of TODAY, all that (admittedly super-fun) speculation can cease, because Sakamoto has just announced that his new album is a 15-track affair titled async. It’s coming April 28 via Milan Records (with a March 29 release in Japan), and its concept stemmed from the creation of “a soundtrack for an Andrei Tarkovsky film that does not exist” (guess I wasn’t too far off).

Let’s just take that in first, shall we? Breathe…breathe…Now, are you at least half-ready for more of the details? Cuz here comes a bunch:

The album, which “plays with ideas of a-synchronism, prime numbers, chaos, quantum physics and the blurred lines of life and artificiality/noise and music,” was conceived and primarily recorded around New York City, while also folding-in various “field or location recordings” and elements from “museums around the world.” The pallet consists of the usual suspects of piano and orchestra, but also “a deep selection of unique acoustic and electric sounds both programmed and organic.”

Oh, but that’s not all: dollops of inspiration were also scooped from “everyday objects, sculpture, and nature,” with Sakamoto attempting to simply compose, arrange, and play with “the sounds/music that he most wanted to listen to” and to pay special attention to the “essence of each track,” as well as to the careful balancing of sounds “with a less-is-more perspective” until the resultant pieces represented “singular expressions of Sakamoto’s current mindset” comprising “one of his most personal albums.”


Ryuichi Sakamoto: async