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Ryuichi Sakamoto © nss (zakkubalan)

Sakamoto's Sound

Eye on Sound

An evening devoted to pop star turned idiosyncratic film composer Ryuichi Sakamoto. His dance performance Time premieres at the Holland Festival. Eye screens a number of films scored by Sakamoto. On this closing evening we will explore his oeuvre in greater depth based on clips and conversations with guests as well as live music.

Holland Festival x Eye

Born in Tokyo in 1952, Ryuichi Sakamoto burst on the international scene in the 1970s with his pioneering electro band Yellow Magic Orchestra. And the following years have seen him make a number of influential avant-garde solo albums. He debuted as a film composer with Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (1983, starring David Bowie) and wrote music for such films as The Last Emperor (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1987) and The Revenant (Alejandro González Iñárritu, 2015). His numerous ‘smaller’ films like Tony Takitani (Jun Ichikawa, 2004), feature music that is every bit as interesting.

In the past 20 years, he has also created a number of interdisciplinary works (opera, dance). Increasingly, stillness and the passing of time have become major themes in his music. A recent highlight was the jubilantly received piano/ambient album async (2017). Time, the multidisciplinary dance performance for which he wrote new music, premieres at the Holland Festival this year.

Moving with ease

On this closing night, we will explore the full scope of Sakamoto’s oeuvre. Few musicians move with such ease between widely varying genres, such as ironic j-pop, gloomy new wave, orchestral film music, ambient and reflective solo piano pieces, glitchy sample electronics, world music and musique concrète.

Some soundtracks clearly anticipate much later work, others draw on previous work. Even so, there are obvious stages to be identified in the development of Sakamoto’s musical identity, either running parallel to or diverging from the artistic Zeitgeist. It will be an evening of live music, clips, presentations and conversations.

Confirmed guests (more TBA)

Frank Scheffer, Jimmi Jo Hueting


  • Frank Scheffer

    Frank Scheffer is regarded as an expert maker of inventive and gripping music documentaries that award a major role to associative montage. He made films about such composers as Pierre Boulez and John Cage, a trilogy about Frank Zappa and a film about the musical genius Brian Eno. He is currently working on a documentary about Sakamoto’s latest work. Live music will performed by a special band put together for the occasion led by Jimmi Jo Hueting (1991, Nijmegen).

  • Jimmi Jo Hueting

    Jimmi Jo Hueting is a jazz drummer in bands including the Benjamin Herman Quartet, Bonsai Panda, Bart Wirtz, the Dick de Graaf Quartet, Clod! and 4B2M. In addition to his regular ensembles, Jimmi plays with the New Rotterdam Jazz Orchestra, the Netherlands Wind Ensemble, Jasper van 't Hof and Jasper Blom. Jimmi also leads a solo project, Jo Goes Hunting.
    He composed music for dance performances by Dansateliers and ISH dance collective, and for various installations in museums and short films. He has worked in the theatre as a composer and live musician for the Bochum Schauspielhaus. Also featuring: Daniël Eskens - bass, Thierry Castel - piano, Thijs Havens - guitar.



105 min.

Original title

Sakamoto's Sound

Part of

Holland Festival 2021

This year, Eye puts the spotlight on Ryuichi Sakamoto, one of the associate artists of the Holland Festival 2021. Sakamoto's latest work Time will premiere during the festival, an unconventional wordless opera he made together with visual artist Shiro Takatani. Eye will organise seven accompanying programmes in June focusing on Sakamoto's illustrious career.

Learn more
Ryuichi Sakamoto © nss (zakkubalan)
Frank Scheffer

Frank Scheffer

Jimmi Heuting  ©Nick Helderman

Jimmi Heuting ©Nick Helderman

In collaboration with

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