Ryuichi Sakamoto is one of the most influential musicians to ever come out of Japan.
He is probably best known for his score for Bernardo Bertoluccis The Last Emperor, which won him an Oscar, a Grammy, a Golden Globe and the New York, Los Angeles and British Film Critics Association awards for best original soundtrack.
His work has included collaborations with a wide range of musical artists, including David Bowie, Youssou Ndour, Iggy Pop, Brian Wilson and David Byrne. Sakamoto also composed and conducted the opening ceremony of the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona.
Such is the diversity of Sakamoto's talents that his early work, as a part of the Yellow Music Orchestra (YMO), is widely recognised as having an influence on rave, techno and ambient movements.
True to his own maxim that the only constant in life is change, composer and musician Ryuichi Sakamoto has embarked on a new project with fellow musicians Jaques and Paula Morelenbaum (entitled Morelenbaum / Sakamoto) This collaboration sees Sakamoto totally immersed in the compositions of another musician, Brazilian maestro Antonio Carlos ('Tom') Jobim.
Casa, their new CD released on September 2nd, is a collection of hidden treasures and some previously unrecorded material written by Jobim, recorded in his house in Rio last year on the very piano at which the pioneer of bossa nova composed so much of his material, and performed by Ryuichi Sakamoto on piano, Jaques Morelenbaum on cello and Paula Morelenbaum as vocalist.
Following successful releases in Brazil and Japan and sold-out concerts in both countries, the group embarks on a major tour in September 2002 taking in the US, Korea, UK, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Germany, Netherlands and France.
The London engagement at the Royal Festival Hall on September 21 is part of "the Song's The Thing' festival presented by Serious, and marks the launch of the European leg of the tour.