Posted in music | tour dates on April 15, 2009

by Andrew Frisicano

Ryuichi Sakamoto
Bang on a Can Marathon

The Bang on a Can Marathon returns to World Financial Center for its fourth year to kick-off the 2009 River To River Festival on May 31st. The 12-hour marathon (noon-midnight) of mind-boggling, genre-bending music will include Ryuichi Sakamoto, Tortoise, Bill Frisell, Bang on a Can All-Stars and more.
Those acts will be performing "music composed by Gavin Bryars, Michael Gordon, David Lang, Julia Wolfe, Evan Ziporyn, and many more." The annual NYC event is free.

As previously reported, Tortoise will play a Saturday, May 30th show at the Bell House, in addition to the Marathon. Tortoise also has an appearance at Pitchfork Fest, plus a new album coming out and a track on Thrill Jockey's Record Store Day comp.

Michael Gordon, whose work will be performed at the Bang on a Can Marathon, is also having his composition Trance performed by Signal at a (Le) Poisson Rouge show on Wednesday, April 22nd.

Other free shows coming up at the World Financial Center this summer include M83, Mountains and Scanners. Clogs and Laurie Anderson play there TONIGHT (April 15).

The Japan Times recently profiled Japanese pianist and composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, who will be performing at the Bang on a Can Marathon, about his 30 year career and his connections with David Bowie, John Cage, and others. Read an excerpt from that, with videos of Sakamoto solo and with Iggy Pop, below...

Ryuichi Sakamoto & Iggy Pop - Risky

Hearing Ryuichi Sakamoto talk softly about his 30 years in music, which have elevated him to the status of an officially designated National Treasure, is to witness a perfect exercise in Japanese modesty.

"I haven't achieved anything," he says as he reclines on a sofa in the backstage bowels of Kochi Prefecture's awkwardly named Cul-Port Plaza down in Shikoku. "This is how I feel.

"Maybe someday in the future I will do something . . . but I'm not satisfied with what I have done so far."

Hold on a moment, let's just remind ourselves of a few things here.

As one third of Yellow Magic Orchestra, in the late 1970s and early '80s, Sakamoto helped spark the Western chart-topping New Wave synth revolution that still reverberates through every electro-influenced track from the likes of LCD Soundsystem and Daft Punk to Perfume.

Viewed as Kraftwerk's Asian counterparts, YMO brought Japanese music out of its insularity into a world of success not experienced by any Japanese native since singer Kyu Sakamoto in the '50s. Since YMO went their separate ways in 1984, Sakamoto has flourished as a solo musician.

He has released film scores including "Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence" (1984), in which he starred opposite David Bowie, and "The Last Emperor" (1987), for which he received an Academy Award. In addition, his own albums -- including "XYZ" -- have hit the spot worldwide. [Japan Times]

Ryuichi Sakamoto - Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (Live)



Comments (7)


Posted by jason | April 15, 2009 2:20 PM

tortoise better not pull a dan deacon and play at like 4 in the morning. theyre the only band i wanna see and it damn well better not be inconvenient

Posted by Anonymous | April 15, 2009 2:47 PM

what part of "noon to midnight" were you incapable of comprehending? dolt.

Posted by Anonymous | April 15, 2009 2:52 PM

ha. didnt read. sry!

Posted by Anonymous | April 15, 2009 3:07 PM

I love the RS's soundtrack to "Wuthering Heights," the Ralph Fiennes/Juliette Binoche version (circa 1993). I searched the web high and low until I found it. It wasn't released in the US for whatever reason. It cost an arm, but was def worth it. Wish I lived in NYC for this...

Posted by Catherine | April 15, 2009 5:19 PM

Thanks for the article.

Posted by ugg boots | April 21, 2009 5:42 AM

I was at this marathon for a good 8-9 hours and Sakamoto (an all time favorite of mine) was one of the few to bring silence to the entire crowd. Fucking amazing.

Posted by mikeypod | June 2, 2009 10:47 AM

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