Ryuichi Sakamoto (坂本 龍一)

Hikaru Utada

Ryuichi Sakamoto is a revered Japanese composer, musician, and producer, known for his pioneering work in electronic and ambient music, as well as for his numerous film scores. His extensive career, marked by innovation and versatility, has made him a highly influential figure in contemporary music. Sakamoto’s ability to blend different musical traditions, from classical to avant-garde electronic, has earned him international acclaim.

His album “async,” released in 2017, stands as a significant work in his discography. This album is a deep, introspective journey into sound, showcasing Sakamoto’s mastery in crafting ambient landscapes. It represents a meditation on mortality, inspired in part by his own experience with cancer, and a contemplation on the nature of life and the inevitability of death.

“async” is characterized by its experimental approach. Sakamoto utilizes a range of unconventional instruments and techniques, creating a soundscape that moves between the serene and the unsettling. The album is not just music; it’s an auditory experience that invites listeners to engage with the sounds on a profoundly personal level.

Tracks like “ZURE,” “disintegration,” and “solari” reflect Sakamoto’s signature style of merging beautiful melodies with abstract textures. The album also includes tributes to other artists and filmmakers, evident in pieces like “walker” and “garden.”

With “async,” Ryuichi Sakamoto once again proves his status as a visionary artist. The album is a reflection of his artistic maturity, encapsulating his lifelong exploration of sound and emotion. It’s an essential listen for those who appreciate the depth and breadth of ambient and experimental music, and a testament to Sakamoto’s enduring influence in the world of music.

Shuowei Jin
Shuowei Jin
PhD Candidate at University of Michigan CSE

My research interests include systems for ML, ML for systems, and mobile network systems.