Ryuichi Sakamoto

Ryuichi Sakamoto prepared the playlist for his own funeral

The music world recently lost a true genius and innovator when the famed Japanese artist Ryuichi Sakamoto lost his bout with rectal cancer at the age of 71.  While family, friends, and fans continue to celebrate the life of Sakamoto and his many works, he prepared for his own passing by collecting songs for a playlist to be shared at his funeral.

First rising to prominence in the 70s with his Yellow Magic Orchestra project, Ryuichi Sakamoto would continue to grow and expand his works through film and soundtrack production.  This work lead to many prominent scores such as The Revenant which featured Leonardo DiCaprio as well as work on Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, that not only saw Sakamoto scoring the film but also starring in it alongside David Bowie.  Having first been diagnosed with throat cancer back in 2014, his health had unfortunately been on a downturn for some years, and while he lightened his workload, he did continue to engage in projects in his final years.

It has now been revealed that Ryuichi Sakamoto actually spent his final years preparing a playlist that would be played at his funeral.  The existence of the playlist was made public this week, two months after his passing with his team taking to social media to reveal its existence and share it with the world.  Sakamoto collected 33 songs for the playlist, providing just under three hours’ worth of music through this gesture.  Featuring a variety of artists, such as Johan Sebastian Bach, Claude Debussy, Erik Satie, and Nino Rota, to name a few, the playlist offers further insight into the motivation and inspiration for one of this generation’s great talents.

Be sure to check out the full playlist below and celebrate the life of Ryuichi Sakamoto.

Image Credit: Joi Ito via Flickr | License: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Avid music fan, and avid music producer! Producer and songwriter for NOHC.

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