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By Elaine Lies
TOKYO (Reuters) – Ryuichi Sakamoto, the Oscar-winning Japanese composer famed for his scores for “The Final Emperor”, “Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence” and different epic movies, has died aged 71.
Sakamoto was additionally identified for his performing, and for his work with the pioneering digital music band Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO) which he co-founded.
“He lived with music till the very finish,” Avex, the recording firm he labored with, stated on its web site. He had been affected by most cancers, however saved working in his dwelling studio each time his well being allowed, the assertion added.
He died on March 28, Avex stated.
Launched to the piano as a toddler, Sakamoto lived for music. As a excessive schooler, he rode on Tokyo commuter carriages so packed no one may transfer, amusing himself by counting all of the totally different sounds the prepare made alongside the best way.
Sakamoto, who described French composer Claude Debussy as his hero, studied ethnomusicology on the Tokyo Nationwide College of High-quality Arts and Music, with explicit curiosity within the conventional music of Japan’s Okinawa prefecture in addition to Indian and African musical traditions.
“Asian music closely influenced Debussy, and Debussy closely influenced me. So the music goes world wide and comes full circle,” he instructed WNYC public radio in 2010.
Embracing digital music, he and fellow studio musicians Haruomi Hosono and Yukihiro Takahashi fashioned YMO in 1978. The band’s groundbreaking use of an enormous array of digital devices introduced each home and international success.
Sakamoto’s first rating was for the 1983 movie “Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence”, by which he additionally performed the commandant of a prisoner of battle camp, starring alongside David Bowie. The rating went on to win a BAFTA.
His most celebrated work was 1987’s “The Final Emperor” – a movie by which he additionally acted. The rating gained an Oscar, a Grammy and a Golden Globe.
Followers posted tributes on social media.
“Relaxation in peace Maestro. Your music enriched our lives and adjusted our view of the world round us and inside us,” learn one message on the Twitter account @elhichri0.
Sakamoto, who was an anti-nuclear campaigner and environmental activist, took a break from work in 2014 for a few 12 months to be handled for throat most cancers. Although cured of that after years of remedy, he introduced on his web site in January 2021 that he had been recognized with rectal most cancers.
In December 2022, Sakamoto gave what was clearly meant to be a farewell live performance for his followers, broadcast on-line.
“My energy has actually fallen, so a traditional live performance of about an hour to ninety minutes could be very troublesome,” he stated in a web based message a number of days earlier than.
“Consequently, I’ve recorded it track by track and edited it collectively so it may be offered as an everyday live performance – which I imagine might be pleasurable within the regular manner. Please, take pleasure in.”
(Reporting by Elaine Lies; extra reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Enhancing by Christopher Cushing, Edwina Gibbs and Andrew Heavens)