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Ryuichi Sakamoto: Integrating Electronics & Environmental Activism through Music & Film

Updated: Sep 11, 2022

Have you heard of Ryuichi Sakamoto? I hadn't, until today. Now I can't get enough of his talent. RYUICHI SAKAMOTO: CODA | MUBI is new documentary about this award-winning composer/conductor/performer/record producer. View Trailer, Since the late 1970s, when he was a founding member of the electronic-pop trio Yellow Magic Orchestra, he has composed and produced music for dance floors, concert halls, films, video games, cellphone ringtones, and acts of ecological awareness and political resistance (Source: Ben Ratliff, July 13, 2018, NY Times). Now in his 70s, recovering from cancer, Ryuichi Sakamoto is still creating music with a message.

View a sampling of films for which Sakamoto created musical scores. Source: How To Listen To Film Music: Ryuichi Sakamoto,

Listen to the following samplings of his music:

Motion Pictures:

Film and Drawing:

Film and Environment:

Conduct a discussion after viewing each film. Following are a few questions to think about:
  • What can you learn about lifelong creativity and meaning from Ryuichi Sakamoto?

  • How do Sakamoto's musical themes tell us about a character or narraive journey?

  • How are Sakamoto's musical themes repeated in films, connecting us to a character, setting, emotion or idea?

Listen to Sakamoto's musical themes in orchestral performances, albums and video games. Discuss how the following samples connect you to a character, setting, emotion or idea.

Orchestral Performances:



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