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Sounding out technology.
Composing in code.

Sakamoto Chain-Protest MP3

Ryuichi Sakamoto, the peripatetic Japanese musician of Yellow Magic Orchestra and Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence fame, has been playing a game of telephone with various electronic-music luminaries, including Towa Tei, David Sylvian, Christian Fennesz, Hector Zazou and, most recently, Christopher Willits. Each sequential “Chain Music” participant in adds “on to the existing work vertically as well as horizontally, overlaying or extending the existing creation,” Sakamoto has said of the piece, which he intends as a reflective anti-war statement, marking the pace of the conflict with thoughtful, ongoing collaboration. The music, true to that theme, is both peaceful (its opening, with birdsong and bugsound; the light digital ambience throughout) and unsettling (muffled voices and the inevitable irritant of glitch). Check out the streaming sequence at sitesakamoto.com/chainmusic or download the most recent edition of the expanding composition here (MP3).

By Marc Weidenbaum

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