Ryuichi Sakamoto to receive Lifetime Achievement Award

Ryuichi Sakamoto lifetime award

Soundtrack award for Ryuichi Sakamoto

The World Soundtrack Awards will present Ryuichi Sakamoto with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 16th  edition of the event on the 19th of October in Ghent, Belgium. The award ties in with a spotlight on Japanese cinema.

Patrick Duynslaegher, Artistic director of Film Fest Gent, had this to say: “We are extremely pleased to welcome Mr. Sakamoto next October. With his recent creative collaboration with Mexican director Alejandro G. Inarritu on The Revenant, Ryuichi Sakamoto found himself again at the forefront of the film music profession.”

Bande-annonce de "The Revenant" par LePoint

Sakamoto will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award during the WSAwards Gala for his outstanding career in film music. A selection of his work will be performed by the renowned Brussels Philharmonic conducted by music director Dirk Brossé.

Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence

Ryuichi Sakamoto was already a noted rock-pop composer/pianist/singer in Japan when he wrote the 1983 score for Nagisa Oshima’s Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, in which he also starred alongside David Bowie. He has since worked for leading Japanese (Oshima again for Gohatto) and international directors such as Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor, in which he also played a part and for which he won an Academy Award for best Original Score, The Sheltering Sky and Little Buddha; Brian De Palma’s Snake Eyes and Femme Fatale; Pedro Almodovar’s High Heels; Volker Schlöndorff’s The Handmaid’s Tale; Oliver Stone’s produced television miniseries Wild Palms. “He is one of the most inventive film composers of our time,” according to Duynslaegher.

The second part of the WSAwards Gala will be dedicated to the ‘new Golden Age of TV’. In addition to live performances of David Arnold and Michael Price’s score for the British-American drama TV series Sherlock and Max Richter’s mysterious soundtrack from cult-drama series The Leftovers by Brussels Philharmonic and the Flemish Radio Choir, several composers will make their way to the stage for what is often the debut of their scores played live in front of an audience. American composer and arranger Jeff Russo will play drums during the live performance of his Emmy-nominated music from Fargo. Sean Callery, best known from his suspense-driven scores on TV-series 24 and Homeland will perform piano on the latter. For the performance of his score and theme for Netflix drama House of Cards, composer Jeff Beal will take the stage.

Ryuichi Sakamoto crowdfunding

Fans of Sakamoto can support the recording of Film Fest Gent’s album which focuses on the annual guest of honour of the WSAwards, by funding the crowdfunding campaign ‘Bringing film music to your ears’. Participants will receive a signed album by Sakamoto himself, theirname in the booklet, VIP tickets to the WSAwards and other perks.

The crowdfunding campaign will be launched on Wednesday, 4th of May on the online platform Indiegogo. A budget of €10,000 is required to finance a share of the recording of the album. You can discover everything about the campaign through Indiegogo.

Brussels Philharmonic records new versions

The crowdfunding campaign did not work out. But Sakamoto was nonetheless the subject of a homage by the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra, directed by Dirk Brossé. The double-vinyl release includes tunes from “Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence”, “Femme Fatale” and “The Revenant” in full orchestral versions.