Thursday 11 May 2017


A day with Nolico is always a day of discoveries and excitement. We were to go see the Ryuichi Sakamoto exhibition together, but she suggested we went to another one first about the Raku family at the National Museum. The Raku family have been creating ceramic wares for more than six centuries, cups for tea ceremonies that were ordered by samurais and noblemen. Looking at each cup was to listen to a long saga, and all the cups wanted to be heard! I was overwhelmed. The pieces created by recent members of the family were more dated, when those done five or six centuries are so modern and timeless.
We sat down in the room with a view on the fourth floor, contemplating the Imperial Palace in front of us. Precious moment.

The Sakamoto exhibition was held at the Watari Museum, one of my favourite museums in Tokyo. An abandoned small building with a fresco painted by Keith Harring, waiting to be restored is setting the tone. The exhibition consisted in three parts: a video installation based one filmed natures mortes of Sakamoto’s house and garden. As the image slowly become abstract digital paintings, we could hear some of the tracks from his new album. Also music that verges more toward the abstract, giving us a hint of what inhabits his mind: quietness and rebirth after the cancer he had been fighting a couple of years ago. At the entrance books, handwritten scores and photos that inspired him were in display. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that his music handwriting was quite similar to mine!
On the second floor we were invited to step in a dark room with small screens on the walls, each of them showing one of those natures mortes that were used for the video installation. In the basement, four turntables were at the disposal of those who wanted to listen to the album. To keep things still personal, Sakamoto used test pressing of the album. The basement was also the museum shop, with many of Sakamoto’s albums, DVD and books available. Fortunately, I had been browsing many second hand shops and found more than my bargain of Sakamotoralias. 
This journey into Sakamoto’s world was soothing for me. It gave me confidence again. New ideas for the film score started to burgeon in the back of my mind. 

I felt happy that this man, this hero of mine came out victorious in his battle against cancer. His creativity seems to have completed its full cycle and now begins a new birth. Sickness allows us to let go of the unnecessary, keep the essential and make room for something new.

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