Musician, composer and experimenter, he passed away on 23 March ’23 at the age of 71. With him goes one of the most significant musical personalities of the last decades.
Ryūichi Sakamoto was a man without creative restraints.
When, with Haruomi Hosono and Yukihiro Takahashi he founded the YMO – Yellow Magic Orchestra – in 1978, the music world was mesmerised by the cold, mechanical sounds of Kraftwerk.
Sakamoto loved that dark, hypnotic genre, but he wanted to mix it with melody in a lighter, cheerful way. If in Germany the Computer was ‘dominating’ man, making him almost a ‘machine’ (or Man-Machine), in his country of birth, Japan, 8Bit video games – with their colourful and playful aesthetics – were making their way into Japanese society, brightening the days of adults and children alike.