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    [ s a k a m o t o b i o g .]

    sakamoto b. 17 January 1952, Tokyo, Japan. Sakamoto studied composition and electronic music at Tokyo College of Arts and took a Master of Arts degree in 1976 before forming the Yellow Magic Orchestra with Haruomi Hosono and Yukihiro Takahashi two years later. It was with the YMO that he first achieved international recognition with Computer Game (Theme From The Invaders) reaching number 17 in the UK charts in 1980.

    sakamotoSakamoto's first solo album One Thousand Knives, was recorded in 1978, but not released until 1982 and only then in Holland. The first widely-distributed recording was B-2 Unit, made while he was still a member of the Yellow Magic Orchestra in 1980 with the help of Andy Partridge ( XTC ) and Dennis Bovell. Singer Robin Scott was given equal billing on A Dream Of The Left Hand, with US session guitarist Adrian Belew also featuring.

    The End Of Asia was recorded with Danceries, a Japanese classical ensemble which specialized in recreating medieval music.

    Working alongside David Sylvian (to whose work Sakamoto became a key contributor), he scored two UK hit singles with Bamboo Houses (1982) and Forbidden Colours (1983).

    sakamotoSince the mid-80s, Sakamoto has established a successful career as a solo recording artist, a film composer and an actor. His evocative soundtrack to Nagisa Oshima's Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence (Dvd and movie review here) - in which he made his acting debut - received critical acclaim; his contribution to the soundtrack of Bernardo Bertolucci's The Last Emperor (with David Byrne and Cong Su) earned him an Academy Award.

    sakamotoIn September 1985, at the Tsukaba Expo, he collaborated with Radical TV on a spectacular live performance of TV WAR, a science fiction show involving music, video and computer graphics. He has constantly attracted a variety of leading musicians in studio work, varying from Iggy Pop to Brian Wilson and Robbie Robertson and was assisted by Thomas Dolby on Musical Encyclopedia and the single Field Work (1986). He also contributed to Public Image Limited's Album and Arto Lindsay's Esperanto.

    sakamotoHis own solo albums have consistently displayed a hi-tech integration of western pop music with traditional music from Japan, the Middle East and Africa. After releasing Beauty, which incorporated Okinawan music, Sakamoto toured the USA and Europe and established his international fame with his highly eclectic style.

    sakamotoHe conducted and arranged the music at the opening ceremony for the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. Discord marked his first attempt at orchestral composition, and was marketed as a multimedia package. In 1999, his composition Energy Flow was used in a television advertisement in Japan. Its popularity took the song to the top of the charts. It was included on BTTB, an endearing collection of solo piano pieces. Sakamoto also released Cinemage, which featured reworkings of themes from his film soundtracks.

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