Innovative Japanese Pianist and Composer Ryuichi Sakamoto Diagnosed with Throat Cancer
- Words: Glenn Jackson
A restlessly prolific musician, composer, and activist (among many other things), Ryuchi Sakamoto has announced that he has been diagnosed with throat cancer, and as a result, will be forced to put all of his professional projects and performances on hold as part of his recovery. Perhaps best known to XLR8R readers for his many collaborative projects alongside Raster-Noton co-head Alva Noto, Fennesz, and Christopher Willits, Sakamoto began his career in 1978 as part of the Yellow Magic Orchestra before going on to lend his talents to a long list of noteworthy projects, not just in the world of electronic music, but also in the realms of pop, soundtracks, and many points in between.
In a statement posted to his website, Sakamoto shared the unfortunate news stating that he has decided to take time off from all of his upcoming engagements—including his role as a director of the Sapporo International Art Festival—in order to concentrate on treatment. The accomplished artist does sound resoundingly optimistic about the future in his letter, asking fans to "Please bare with me while I regain my health. I promise to return after a full recovery." Sakamoto's full statement on his diagnosis can be read below.
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