Homage to Ryuichi Sakamoto

The recent death of composer Ryuichi Sakamoto triggered the need in pianist Helena Basilova to record an album of his piano works. Driven by love and admiration for his music, the album is a tribute to him, to his musical legacy and innovative approach to piano sound.

Ryuichi Sakamoto (1952-2023), composer, musician, producer, has broken down barriers between different music genres ranging from classical-, jazz-, film- to 80’s synth-pop and experimental electronic music. Influenced by Bach, Debussy but also by John Cage, Boulez and Ligeti, he can be seen as an impressionist of modern times. Classically trained and from a family of musicians, Helena has always been absorbed to explore new music and genres. Her father- being a prominent composer who studied with Alfred Schnittke-wrote works for her from the youngest age. Since then, collaborating with living composers and contemporary music projects has always been important and on the forefront of her work. Discovering music of Sakamoto has been a big inspiration for Helena to re- imagine the possibilities within piano sound. It opened doors to experiment with electronic music and pushed boundaries to write music and work on bigger scale audio-visual productions.

Piano music has always been very central in Sakamoto’s oeuvre. Like a homebase to return to after different phases in life. Sculpting the piano and its possibilities from minimal intimate pieces to more complex ambient works. The collection of works recorded on this album is a tribute to the intimate, mysterious and poetic world left by Sakamoto.

Carefully selected from Helena’s favourite Sakamoto albums Async, Out of noise, 12, Insen and Playing the Piano they form a new anthology with a fresh sound. Played in her own way, timing and with alternative electronic soundscapes produced and recorded together with Maarten Vos in Funkhaus Berlin

Doorway Music: Digital Distribution // Culture Archive: Vinyl

To purchase click on this Bandcamp link