Since the late 1970s, when he was a founding member of the electronic-pop trio Yellow Magic Orchestra, Ryuichi Sakamoto has composed and produced music for dance floors, concert halls, films, video games, ringtones, and acts of ecological awareness and political resistance. Many consider him exemplary not only for his music but also for his listening, and for his understanding of how music can be used and shared.
In 2017 Sakamoto assembled a gustatory soundtrack for Kajitsu, a Japanese restaurant in Murray Hill, Manhattan. In an interview, he compared Kajitsu’s cuisine to the beauty of Katsura Rikyu, a palatial villa in Kyoto, but said that the restaurant’s former musical backdrop was more akin to that of Trump Tower.
Sakamoto created at least five rough drafts before settling on the current version of the Kajitsu playlist, now available for public consumption on Spotify.
This according to “Annoyed by restaurant playlists, a master musician made his own” by Ben Ratliff (The New York times 23 July 2018, p. D1).
Above, a meal at Kajitsu; below, the Kajitsu playlist.