Ryuichi Sakamoto’s final studio performances at NHK Broadcast Center Studio arriving in new film, Opus

The film, directed by his son, will premiere at the Venice Film Festival and features music from Yellow Magic Orchestra, Sakamoto’s film scores, and music from his final album, 12

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Ryuichi Sakamoto in teaser trailer for Opus

Ryuichi Sakamoto in teaser trailer for Opus

Five months following his death, the final performances of legendary Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto are set to be shared with the world as part of a film called Opus.

The film, which will debut at the Venice Film Festival on 5 September, includes performances of works by Sakamoto’s former band, Yellow Magic Orchestra, his film scores, and music from his final album, 12. Watch the trailer for Opus below:

The film was directed by Ryuichi Sakamoto’s son, Neo Sora, and produced by his wife and manager, Norika Sora. It was recorded at studios with “the finest acoustics in Japan”, Sakomoto said in a posthumous statement, in Tokyo’s NHK Broadcast Center in the months leading up to Sakamoto’s death.

In the posthumous statement regarding the film, Sakamoto said: “The project was conceived as a way to record my performances – while I was still able to perform – in a way that is worth preserving for the future. We borrowed the NHK Broadcast Center’s 509 Studio to record in, which is a place that I think offers the finest acoustics in Japan.

“I played every piece at home which we recorded on an iPhone to construct the overall composition of the concert that will express the progression of time from morning into night. Everything was meticulously storyboarded so that the camera positions and the lighting changed significantly with each song. I went into the shoot a little nervous, thinking this might be my last chance to share my performance with everyone in this way. We recorded a few songs a day with a lot of care.

“In some sense, while thinking of this as my last opportunity to perform, I also felt that I was able to break new grounds. Simply playing a few songs a day with a lot of concentration was all I could muster at this point in my life. Perhaps due to the exertion, I felt utterly hollow afterwards, and my condition worsened for about a month. Even so, I feel relieved that I was able to record before my death – a performance that I was satisfied with.”

Find out more at sitesakamoto.com.


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