Ryuichi Sakamoto: Discordant Note | EW.com


Ryuichi Sakamoto: Discordant Note

A composer-actor's new CD

Composer Ryuichi Sakamoto is used to ch-ch-changes. Oft compared to pop chameleon David Bowie (with whom he costarred in 1983’s Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence), Sakamoto, 45, has parlayed his start as a techno-glambient rock pioneer into such creative forays as acting stints in Hollywood and an Oscar-winning score for 1987’s The Last Emperor (with collaborator David Byrne). Sakamoto’s new enhanced CD, Discord (Sony Classical), a four-movement orchestral piece, adds multimedia artiste to his resume. Featuring spoken word by Laurie Anderson, and DJ Spooky and guitarist David Torn on its haunting melodies, as well as an interactive show, Discord takes its inspiration from the conflicts in Rwanda and Zaire. “I always want to break down the walls between culture and technology,” says Sakamoto. “When I watched [the news], I thought the crisis wasn’t just theirs, it was our crisis as well.”