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100 minutes of healing music from Ryuichi Sakamoto and shamisen prodigy Hidejiro Honjoh.
Released on Sakamoto’s own YouTube channel, Playing the Piano for the Isolated is an emotional performance that feels like a shimmer of light within our dark, isolated world. The session includes renditions of Sakamoto piano classics like “Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence” and “Perspective” as well as an improvised collaboration with young shamisen master Hidejiro Honjoh.
Sakamoto speaks candidly throughout the video:
“Social distancing is really important. Please do it. That said… being at home all the time can be tough. That’s why today we’re doing this with the hope that this can give you a little bit of solace… After the pandemic is over, I hope that this state of over-globalization and financial capitalism will slow down. I pray for a more generous world where we can feel that we are part of nature. A more gentle world.”
If you enjoyed the improvisation section of the performance, we also recommend checking out Sakamoto’s Improvisation for Sonic Cure where he creates similar experimental sonic compositions using stones, synthesizers, and a cymbal made in Wuhan, China.