Ryuichi Sakamoto’s Last Playlist: A Musical Farewell from a Legendary Composer


Author: Amanda Taylor

Yellow Magic Orchestra member, Ryuichi Sakamoto, passed away at 71 in March 2023, leaving behind a hand selected playlist titled “Last Playlist” which he requested “to be played at his own funeral to accompany his own passing.”

The two hour and 42-minute playlist is a collection of 33 perfectly placed composition tracks that evoke various emotions. The dark and somber tracks range from two minutes to nearly 12 minutes. While some songs may be eerie and uncomfortable, they showcase the beauty and elegance of Sakamoto’s selection, featuring composers, Alva Noto, Claude Debussy, and more renowned artists.

I’m happy the Sakamoto family shared this creation with fans, as it is just yet another glimpse into the talented artist’s mind and creative process. I’m curious to learn more about the reasoning behind his song choices and the significance of their order. Crafting a playlist for one’s own funeral is undoubtedly an intriguing experience. On one hand, you put your passion into creating this special playlist, yet you face the harsh reality that is your own mortality. It sounds beautiful, yet challenging. It presents the challenge of distilling a lifetime’s worth of cherished songs into a select few that hold special meaning. Ryuichi Sakamoto spent his life loving music. “He lived with music until the very end,” his managers said. We must continue to celebrate the life of Ryuichi Sakamoto, through his handcrafted music and playlists.


Amanda Taylor | Adding play my personalized playlist at my funeral to my will | KXSU Music & Arts Reporter & DJ

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