“As a music maker and curious explorer of the inner human experience, Sakamoto’s life and work offers the gift of limitless inspiration. Playing his music is like looking deeply into your own soul…a profound experience.”Contemplating his mortality in 2017, Sakamoto said he wanted to make “music I won’t be ashamed to leave behind – meaningful work”. By any metric, he already had. His view of himself was perpetually in flux. He had become interested in human playing through this circuitous route of the sampler: “I discovered something new about the piano.”
The significance of this return to the piano became increasingly apparent as his career moved from youthful pop star to chameleonic mature artist; the piano became an instrument at the centre of personal freedom, rather than an archaic evolutionary stage leading to the synthesiser. And now, what can we say, he showed us music is never really about certainty, only possibility, and in possibility there is a way to live, a positivity that Ryuichi Sakamoto never abandoned.
Derry-born Ruth McGinley is widely recognised as one of Ireland’s leading pianists. Her career has been wide-ranging and daring, collaborating with some of the most acclaimed musicians working today and straying from the typical classical-pianist journey. But it is perhaps the spaces between where Ruth’s interests really lie. A determination to walk her own path, Ruth’s love of music goes far beyond the classical world. A highly sought-after collaborator, Ruth loves to cross musical boundaries and work with musicians from a diverse range of backgrounds, including jazz, folk, electronic and film.
Matthew Nolan is a Dublin-based musician, composer, academic and curator. He has produced new work in collaboration with some of the finest musicians around, both Irish and international. He has worked on commissions from a range of prestigious performing arts institutions, including National Gallery of Ireland, BAM and Film at Lincoln Centre in New York, The National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., Kilkenny Arts Festival, Bram Stoker Festival, and the Saint Patrick’s Festival. His most recent projects were presented at MoLI in Dublin as part of their Ulysses centenary project and at the New York Film Festival filled up. 2024 will see the release of Pomes Penyeach by Universal Music, produced in collaboration with Adrian Crowley and based on James Joyce’s short book of poetry.
Performance curated by Ruth McGinley