Special thanks to Robert Christgau for editing and arranging for this article. And thanks to Roger Trilling, former manager and close friend of Ryuichi Sakamoto, to whom I owe particular gratitude and was nice enough to do a personal interview.
Ryuichi Sakamoto (坂本 龍一, Sakamoto Ryūichi?, born January 17, 1952) is an Academy Award-winning Japanese musician, composer, record producer and actor, based in New York and Tokyo. He plays keyboards in the influential Japanese electropop band Yellow Magic Orchestra. His 1999 musical composition "Energy Flow", also known as the alternative title of the single disc Ura BTTB, is the first number-one instrumental single in Japan's Oricon charts history....
Ryuichi Sakamoto’s original version of the main theme to “Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence” is basically synth pop and Mahler’s Adagietto is around 12 minutes of intense swirling strings, but Wong successfully turns both into serene gems.