Ryuichi Sakamoto's Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence - Version 2020: A New Take on a Classic Soundtrack
Ryuichi Sakamoto is a Japanese composer, musician, and producer who has been creating innovative and influential music for over four decades. He is best known for his work on film scores, such as The Last Emperor, The Sheltering Sky, and The Revenant, as well as his solo albums and collaborations with artists like David Sylvian, Alva Noto, and Fennesz.
One of his most iconic compositions is the theme song for the 1983 film Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, directed by Nagisa Oshima and starring David Bowie. The film is based on the novel The Seed and the Sower by Laurens van der Post, and tells the story of a British officer captured by the Japanese army during World War II. The theme song, also titled Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, is a haunting and beautiful piano melody that captures the emotional tension and cultural clash between the characters.
In 2020, Sakamoto released a new version of the theme song, as part of his album Playing The Piano 12122020. The album features solo piano renditions of some of his most famous pieces, recorded live at his home studio in New York during the COVID-19 pandemic. The new version of Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence is slower and more reflective than the original, with subtle variations and improvisations that add a fresh perspective to the familiar tune.
The new version of Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence is available as a digital download in high-quality FLAC format (48.0 kHz / 24 bit) from various online platforms[^1^]. It is also included in the vinyl edition of Playing The Piano 12122020, which was released in August 2021[^1^]. Fans of Sakamoto's music can enjoy this new interpretation of one of his most beloved works, as well as other piano pieces from his extensive repertoire.
Ryuichi Sakamoto's music has been praised for its originality, diversity, and creativity. He has explored various genres and styles, from electronic to classical, from ambient to pop, from experimental to minimalist. He has also been involved in various social and environmental causes, such as anti-nuclear activism, human rights advocacy, and climate change awareness.
Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence is one of his most recognizable and popular compositions, and has been covered by many artists over the years, such as Sarah Brightman, Vanessa Mae, and London Symphony Orchestra. It has also been sampled by hip-hop artists like Kanye West and Jay-Z. The theme song has become a symbol of Sakamoto's musical legacy and influence.
The new version of Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence - Version 2020 is a testament to Sakamoto's artistic vision and resilience. Despite the challenges and difficulties of the pandemic, he has continued to create and share his music with the world. His piano performance is intimate and expressive, conveying a sense of hope and peace in these uncertain times.
Ryuichi Sakamoto was born in Tokyo in 1952, and started playing piano at the age of three. He studied music composition at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, and graduated in 1975. He then joined the electronic music group Yellow Magic Orchestra, along with Haruomi Hosono and Yukihiro Takahashi. The group became one of the pioneers of synth-pop and techno music, and influenced many artists around the world.
In 1983, Sakamoto made his debut as a film composer with Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, for which he also acted as a supporting actor. He won a BAFTA Award for Best Film Music for his score. He went on to compose music for more than 30 films, including The Last Emperor (1987), for which he won an Academy Award, a Grammy Award, and a Golden Globe Award, along with David Byrne and Cong Su.
Sakamoto has also released more than 20 solo albums, and collaborated with many musicians from different genres and backgrounds, such as David Sylvian, Iggy Pop, Caetano Veloso, Arto Lindsay, Youssou N'Dour, and Carsten Nicolai. He has also composed music for theater, dance, and art installations. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential and innovative composers of our time. 061ffe29dd