Sakamoto

Since 65 years ago.

The meaning of music? As a child, you didn’t know that much. You just sit in front of the piano and practice; sometimes you looked at the window, and run outside.

60s-70s. You rocked with the Beatles while all people around you humming the enka played in the radio. While the majority thought that music was all about singing for loved ones, about tears, about hometown and memories, you already stepped out of the crowd.

You tore a button on your school shirt when taking an ID photo. You were one of the teenages who spoke in front of the crowd, in an age of chaos.

70s-80s. You played jazzy & classy compositions with synthesizers, becoming one of the electronica pioneers in Japan.

That’s all the things I know about, stories of you before your major debut. It could be hard for someone born in 90s to think about. Most of the time I feel the world is perfect, and I was taught to enjoy the happiness of 21th century, rather than discussing how the people on this planet should go.

Four years ago I was in high school, and it was the first time when your classic pieces occupied most space of my mp3. An exceptional part of my memory of high school is your black and white keyboard on an orchestra, your silver hair and your black glasses which is almost the same as mine. While the rest of the world…was noise.

That’s why when I was in the crowd, I always put an earplug.

However, all I discovered was the arrangement: how the climax was reached by adding more texture, and how did he create an exotic feeling? I didn’t know why “Merry Christmas” is followed by a person’s name, why is it called”In Red”? Why “Thousand Knives”? Why “Aqua”(Note: all these are names of his pieces)? Shame on me.

Three years ago, you annouced about your health condition, about how your battle against cancer transformed you. One year ago David Bowie passed away; he was the one who kissed your face in the screenplay which was filmed on Java island. And I finally had time to watch the movie he starred in. It was hard to watch and understand everything. I worked on your piece, the Merry Christmas one– which is not about birth of Jesus nor Santa Claus after all. It was hard to tell how many percent it is Japanese/European, classical/Japanese-traditional. All of this piece is about you, not anyone else. It included the world… the world of last century and present.

Today, I am writing this post. I am not an artist. I don’t have any tribute work here, neither my cover of his piece nor paintings of him. Just some words to show that I was a fan of yours; and I will always be.

Happy birthday, Mr.Sakamoto.

 

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