The piano used on Ryuichi Sakamoto’s async gets its own documentary release

The Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto

NHK World has produced a new documentary on Ryuichi Sakamoto and his ravaged piano, discovered in a school gym in the Miyagi Prefecture following the tsunami in 2011.

The piano features on the composer’s latest album async, released last year as his first full-length in eight years. Following the devastating earthquake, Sakamoto worked with local schools to repair instruments and kept this particular piano, employing it on the track Zure.

The description on NHK World’s website reads: “A ravaged high school piano, soaked by the tsunami, sat stoically after the Great East Japan Earthquake. Renowned musician Ryuichi Sakamoto came across it when visiting the disaster area. The sounds were divorced from conventional tonality, and Sakamoto employed them in his first album in 8 years. He also attached sensors to the keys, transforming the instrument into a machine that converts seismic waves into sounds. It was his way of conveying the message that the disaster should never be forgotten.”

Watch the film in full here and read Crack Magazine’s feature where Sakamoto talks us through Async Remodels track by track.