I've always enjoyed Sakamoto's music and its multiplicity of symphonic and cinematic connotations.
When I first heard his latest work async I was once again incredibly touched by his wonderful music.
One track specifically had caught my attention: fullmoon, a piece of music with more meaning than one could ever imagine at first. The track opens with the recorded voice of Paul Bowles, the author of the novel The Sheltering Sky (1949) reading the closing passage of his own book and followed by a series of overlapping voices reading the same passage in different languages, amongst which is the voice of musician Carsten Nicolai (aka Alva Noto), one of Sakamoto’s long standing collaborators.
The last voice on the track is that of Bernardo Bertolucci, reading the passage in Italian. Bertolucci made the movie of The Sheltering Sky in 1990, which was then beautifully scored by Sakamoto. It is one of his most accomplished and moving compositions, and has always had a special place in my memory.
Here in ‘fullmoon’, he comes back to those emotional notes of his 1990 score, albeit in a new minimalist musical arrangement serving as an accompaniment to the spoken word.
So, just as he pays homage to his own history and to all the wonderful people in his life, it is with the utmost reverence and respect that I’d like to pay tribute to his genius with this short film.
I’ve created plenilunio (fullmoon in Italian) to symbolise the passing of time and the cyclic nature of Creation. The word ‘moon’ appears on the screen repeatedly over the recorded voices, in an incessant loop of more than 70 different languages. In death, our earthly convictions no longer matter, and though we all have different faiths and beliefs, at that moment we realise we've all been wanting the same things, saying the same things all along. Although death is the central theme, the phases of the moon and the repetitive landscape in the background are a subtle spiritual reminder of the greater cosmic architecture which transcends our mere mortality.