Ryuchi Sakamoto shares new album 12
The composer’s 15th solo studio album arrives on his 71st birthday.
Ryuchi Sakamoto, the iconic Japanese composer currently battling cancer, has released his 15th solo studio album, 12. Released on Tuesday, January 17 to celebrate his 71st birthday, the instrumental compositions of 12 were written between 2021 and 2022 as Sakamoto went through treatment.
Read Sakamoto’s full statement on the album below:
In early March 2021, I finally ‘came home’ to my new temporary housing after a big operation and a long stay in the hospital. Around the end of March, just as my body was feeling a little lighter, I found myself reaching for the synthesizer. I had no intention of composing something; I just wanted to be showered in sound. I had a feeling that it’d have a small healing effect on my damaged body and soul. Up until then, I barely had the energy to listen to music, let alone play anything. But after that day, I began to occasionally touch the keys of the synthesizer and piano, and I began to record little sketches of sounds as if to write a diary. I tried choosing 12 of my favorite sketches for this album. There are no adornments — I’m intentionally putting them out as is. From now on, until my body gives out, I’ll probably continue to keep this kind of ‘diary.’
In November, a group of artists including Thundercat and Dev Hynes came together for the Ryuchi Sakamoto tribute album To The Moon and Back. The following month, Sakamoto live-streamed a previously recorded piano concert comprising several new performances recorded at Tokyo’s 509 Studio.