I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Ryuichi Sakamoto -- Parolibre


I don't think being a "Star Trek" or "Star Wars" or "Yamato" fan or wondering about the dystopia within "Blade Runner" would make me a bona fide futurist, but I have to admit that I have wondered about what the world would be like a few hundred years from now. Would humanity still exist by then? Would they be thriving like the citizens of the United Federation of Planets or would cockroaches finally have taken over by the 23rd century? At my age, the chances of me flying within a Jetsons-like saucer or staring downwards from a kilometre-high mega-skyscraper made of spider silk are becoming ever slimmer but it's still nice to watch those futuristic videos on YouTube from time to time and fantasize.

Thus, I come to "Parolibre", the penultimate track from Ryuichi Sakamoto's(坂本龍一)1986 album "Mirai-ha Yaro"(未来派野郎...Futurista). The album has the high-energy "G.T." which could describe one of those flying saucers weaving among the tall towers at full acceleration in a future society. On the other hand, "Parolibre", which according to J-Wiki is the Italian word for some free verse poetry written in the 1910s in regards to the Italian futurist movement, is a much more sedate and melancholy tune.

Some of that wondrous future comes to mind because of what sounds like a theramin and the slight dissonance that Sakamoto incorporates into the melody. Again, according to the J-Wiki article, the Professor had intended to create something in the shape of an interlude in a Puccini opera within a Philip K. Dick image of someone inside a space capsule orbiting a distant planet in the year 2056 while listening to a broadcast from Earth. Wow! That must have been one powerful glass of Hakkaisan. Incidentally, the voice at the end of "Parolibre" belongs to Caoli Cano(かの香織).

All joking aside, "Parolibre" is the outer space version of the wistfulness that he had also created for the down-to-earth "Perspective" when he was still with Yellow Magic Orchestra a few years earlier. There is a feeling of a requiem as it were meant to be played for and around a resident of space in his/her last few days looking upon the Earth. It would have been nice if it had actually been placed as the final track for the album but it looks like "G.T." beat it out. Perhaps Sakamoto didn't want anything quite as sad to finish up "Mirai-ha Yaro".

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to provide any comments (pro or con). Just be civil about it.