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Ryuichi Sakamoto - Playing the Piano & Out of Noise (2009)

Ryuichi Sakamoto - Playing the Piano & Out of Noise (2009)

Artist: Ryuichi Sakamoto
Title Of Album: Playing the Piano & Out of Noise
Year Of Release: 2009
Label: Decca Records / 2717100
Genre: Modern Classical, Electroacoustic, Ambient
Total Time: 2:01:23
Format: Mp3 / FLAC (tracks +.cue, log-file)
Quality: CBR 320 kbps / Lossless
Total Size: 292 mb / 513 mb

Ryuichi Sakamoto - Playing the Piano & Out of Noise (2009)

Ryuichi Sakamoto's legions of fans will have a new special 2-CD package to savor on September 28th (Decca Label Group): the two albums, playing the piano and out of noise, present a wide-ranging view into the world of this composer, musician, producer, actor, and environmental activist. The first CD, playing the piano, is a series of miniatures or "self-covers," as Sakamoto refers to them - solo piano versions of his earlier works, including some of the famous film themes such as The Last Emperor (Oscar/Grammyr -winning soundtrack), Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence and The Sheltering Sky (Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score). The second CD, out of noise, is arguably Sakamoto's most ambitious to date in which he continues to explore the netherworld between music and noise that has fascinated him for years. He is joined here by, among others, Austrian guitarist/laptop artist Christian Fennesz, guitarist Cornelius (Keigo Oyamada), England's renowned early music group Fretwork, and Icelandic multi-instrumentalist Skuli Sverrisson.


CD 1 - Playing The Piano
1-1 Amore 5:08
1-2 Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence 4:41
1-3 A Flower Is Not A Flower 6:34
1-4 The Sheltering Sky 4:52
1-5 Tamago 2004 2:49
1-6 The Last Emperor 6:43
1-7 Tibetan Dance 4:22
1-8 Thousand Knives 5:22
1-9 Riot In Lagos 4:35
1-10 Reversing 3:32
1-11 Mizu No Naka No Bagatelle 3:45
1-12 Bolerish 5:09

CD 2 - Out Of Noise
2-1 Hibari 9:02
2-2 Hwit 6:30
2-3 Still Life 4:45
2-4 In The Red 5:33
2-5 Tama 4:02
2-6 Nostalgia 3:39
2-7 Firewater 4:11
2-8 Disko 3:38
2-9 Ice 3:35
2-10 Glacier 9:44
2-11 To Stanford 3:38
2-12 Composition 0919 5:30

In 2009, Universal International released Ryuichi Sakamoto's Playing the Piano, a collection of solo piano pieces he calls “self-covers”; that is, a newly recorded collection of his own compositons and themes performed solo. The set contains 12 selections. They are mostly themes from the films The Last Emperor, Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, and The Sheltering Sky, with cues from others including "Bolerish," from Brian DePalma's 2002 film Femme Fatale. For the most part, it is a spare and lovely beauty of an album, with few surpises save for the elegance that Sakamoto performs these indelible pieces with. In 2010, Decca Records in the U.S. re-relased this album as a deluxe edition with a new one entitled Out of Noise, recorded during 2009. It, too, contains a dozen selections, all but one composed and recorded the year of release. This disc is the real surpise in the specially packaged and priced set. It concerns itself where music fades and enters into noise, and the no man's land where noise sorts itself out into a system recognized as music. Unlike Playing the Piano, Out of Noise is a more challenging, yet more compelling listen. While it begins with the poetic, atmospheric solo piano piece "Hibari," as a coda to Disc 1, it quickly launches into "Hwit" and "Still Life," both recorded with the U.K.-based viol ensemble Fretwork. The ambient "In the Red," with field-recorded voice samples, features guitarist Christian Fennesz. In 2008, Sakamoto participated in the Cape Farewell Disko Bay Expedition to study and observe climate change; there he visited Greenland's fastest moving glacier. Three of the pieces here -- "Disko," "Ice," and "Glacier" -- reflect the place where Sakamoto claims he left part of his soul. In them, the sounds of the glaicer and the surrounding landscape were recorded, then treated in the studio and added to by other musicians, including guitarist Keigo Oyamada, vocalist Karen H. Filskov, and Skúlli Sverrisson, who plays dobro on the final one of these. "To Standford" is a solo jazz piano piece, or rather has inside its grain, the beauty and ternderness of great jazz pianists from Bill Evans to Errol Garner to Kenny Drew. Ultimately, it's Out of Noise that makes the entire package worth buying for the first time, or purchasing Playing the Piano again. Despite revealing already known dimensions of Sakamoto's musical persona, it also uncovers new ones.



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