Ryuichi Sakamoto's Funeral Playlist Features Bach, Debussy, Alva Noto, Laurel Halo: Listen

The influential late artist made the selections himself

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished May 15, 2023

Ryuichi Sakamoto's management have shared a playlist of songs the celebrated Japanese artist arranged to have played at his funeral.

Privately compiled by the Yellow Magic Orchestra co-founder, the 33-track "Funeral" includes music by composers Bach, Debussy, Satie and Ennio Morricone, as well as more modern figures like friend and recurring collaborator Alva Noto, David Sylvian and Laurel Halo.

"We would like to share the playlist that Ryuichi had been privately compiling to be played at his own funeral to accompany his passing," management wrote. "He truly was with music until the very end."
Sakamoto passed away in late March at age 71. While a cause of death was not revealed, the artist had been diagnosed with throat cancer in 2014 and rectal cancer in 2021, and revealed his stage 4 cancer diagnosis in 2022.

In spite of his health issues, Sakamoto kept busy with music when able. Upon his passing, the artist's label shared, "While undergoing treatment for cancer discovered in June 2020, Sakamoto continued to create works in his home studio whenever his health would allow."

Sakamoto released his final album, 12, this past January.

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