My Review of Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda

RYUICHI SAKAMOTO: COTA – Directed by Stephen Nomura Schible


Review by DJ Sakura of #iheartjrock


Ryuichi Sakamoto is a legendary musician to come out of Japan from last century. His musical career has expanded from pop/rock and roll band to writing scores for movies like Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, Emperor of the Sun, The Sheltering Sky, The Revenant, and on and on. This documentary film is hard to come by and I was lucky to catch it at Amherst Cinemas in Amherst Massachusetts. Being the only venue the movie is playing. I had to watch it on the big screen and see the legend.

The movie starts in Fukushima Japan, and we see Ryiuchi play a piano that had survived the earthquake and tsunami, he then walks around the radiated area holding up a tablet and taking photographs. We then go back to his apartment in NY and discover something unknown to myself. He looks good for a man in his 60s. His hair is stylish and gray, but he wears it longish. He also sports tiny circular glasses that fit his attitude. Shots of Japan in the 70s area on the big screen before me and Sakamoto-san explains to us that Japan are the innovators of technology and science, making a new science/technology movement with sounds. His band Yellow Magic Orchestra playing live on Los Angeles television in the late 70s early 80s. He explains why the use of computers in music, instead of real instruments. Scenes from Solaris come and go through out the movie. Ryuichi is obsessed with the ambience and gets ideas for new music. Clips of Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence, and he explains how he came up with the music for the film. He then explains that right after this movie he is hired for another movie, and on and on. Showing the bits and pieces of the music making processes. We then are in the woods and he is looking for sounds to record and he records everything then he makes music and together they form an interesting blend of nature and music sounds. We get to see inside his studio. He has a lot of older synthesizers, I spot a moog and an emssynthi, looks to be the one Brian Eno gave to David Bowie, but I could be VERY incorrect because he does not explain in the movie at all.  He sits on a aerobic ball in front of a computer to put all his music together.

He is very witty, charming, and adventurous. He is always sitting at his piano making music, or chorales as Ryuichi calls them. His work, both YMO and his soundtracks are amazing.

Please check out this movie!


I give CODA

💀💀💀💀💀 5 skulls !

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