July 30th marks the Milan Records release of Minimata (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), a score composed by Ryuichi Sakamoto. In the meantime, the label has shared a track from the 22-song album titled “Minimata Piano Theme.”
Consisting solely of a piano arrangement, “Minimata Piano Theme” is a far cry from Sakamoto’s celebrated early contributions to electronic music. It runs just shy of three minutes – only long enough to offer a glimpse of one of the film’s recurring motifs.
Minimata, which came out in February 2020, depicts the travels of American photographer Eugene Smith (played by Johnny Depp) to document the impacts of mercury poisoning on inhabitants of the Japanese city of its namesake. It was directed by Andrew Levitas, who apparently had his sights set on Sakamoto from the beginning.
“Ryuichi was my dream collaborator – he would be on any film – but on this mission in particular, there could be no one else,” reads a statement from Levitas in the liner notes for the double-LP. “The music quite literally needed to represent both the absolute best of humanity as well as the worst… In my opinion, Ryuichi was able to elegantly ride this razor’s edge and deliver on this concept entirely.”
Ryuichi Sakamoto influenced genres like electro, techno and synthpop, both through his cofounding role in the electronic band Yellow Magic Orchestra as well as his later work. In January, the world-renowned musician shared that he was battling bowel cancer after overcoming throat cancer in 2014.
Following the July 30th release of Minimata (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), a 1,000-copy run of the soundtrack’s colored vinyl double LP edition will arrive August 6th. Preorder it via Lost In Vinyl.