Ryuichi Sakamoto gave his final performance for the new film Opus, and a first teaser has now been released – check it out below.
The pioneering composer died on March 28, aged 71 after being diagnosed with colon cancer in 2021 and throat cancer in 2014.
In late December last year, the lauded composer and founder of the Yellow Magic Orchestra played his final show, a livestreamed concert titled ‘Ryuichi Sakamoto: Playing the Piano 2022’.
A further performance did follow though, recorded for concert film Opus, which is being premiered at the Venice Film Festival on September 5.
Now, a clip of the performance is streaming at Deadline.
In a posthumous statement about the project, 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.”
He added: “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.”
The legendary composer concluded: “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.”
Earlier this year, Sakamoto‘s management shared a playlist curated by the late musician and composer, titled ‘Funeral’.
They wrote on social media: “We would like to share the playlist Ryuichi has been privately compiling to be played at his own funeral to accompany his passing. He truly was with music until the very end.”