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Quantum Listening: Ryuichi Sakamoto
Quantum Listening: Ryuichi Sakamoto

Quantum Listening: Ryuichi Sakamoto | Opus screening, Introduction by Kris Bowers


Inspired by composer Pauline Oliveros’ manifesto for listening as activism, Quantum Listening explores the everyday phenomena of the sonic as a realm of healing and radical transformation rooted in musicianship. Through open conversations, screenings, and listening sessions, the series acts as a soundboard that mixes our dialogues and amplifies our curiosities about the world around us.

A celebration of an artist’s life in the purest sense, Ryuichi Sakamoto | Opus is the definitive swan song of one of the world’s greatest musicians. In late 2022, as a parting gift, Ryuichi Sakamoto mustered all of his energy to leave us with one final performance: a concert film featuring just him and his piano. Curated and sequenced by Sakamoto himself, the twenty pieces featured in the film wordlessly narrate his life through his wide-ranging oeuvre. The selection spans his entire career, from his pop-star period with Yellow Magic Orchestra and his magnificent scores for filmmaker Bernardo Bertolucci to his meditative final album,12. Intimately filmed in a space he knew well and surrounded by his most trusted collaborators, including director Neo Sora, his son, Sakamoto bares his soul through his exquisitely haunting melodies, knowing this was the last time he would be able to present his art.

This program will be introduced by Oscar and Emmy Award-winning composer and director, Kris Bowers.

Kris Bowers is an Academy Award® winning filmmaker, Emmy and Grammy nominated composer and pianist. He won his first Academy Award® for Best Documentary Short Film for his most recent film, THE LAST REPAIR SHOP. The Searchlight Pictures and L.A. Times Studio-backed film, which he directed alongside Ben Proudfoot, premiered at Telluride in 2023 and spotlights some of the individuals working at a repair shop in Los Angeles, the last American city to provide freely repaired instruments to its public school students. Upcoming, he is scoring the DreamWorks animated film, THE WILD ROBOT, which stars Lupita Nyong’o, Pedro Pascal, Bill Nighy and Catherine O’Hara and premieres on September 20.

In addition to being an accomplished filmmaker, Bowers is known for his thought-provoking playing style, creating genre-defying film compositions that pay homage to his classical and jazz roots. He has composed music for film, television, documentaries and video games. He has collaborated with musicians and artists across genres, including Kobe Bryant, Mahershala Ali, Justin Simien, Ava DuVernay and Shonda Rhimes. His work can also be heard in recent films like the box office hit Paramount biopic, BOB MARLEY: ONE LOVE, DuVernay’s ORIGIN, Warner Bros.’ THE COLOR PURPLE and acclaimed television series such as BRIDGERTON, SECRET INVASION, MRS. AMERICA and WHEN THEY SEE US. He also won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Direction and Composition for his work in THE SNOWY DAY. Bowers also stars in, produced, and scored the documentary ANTHEM with director Pete Nicks, which follows Bowers and Grammy-winning music producer DJ Dahi as they take a musical journey traveling across America in a bold experiment to reimagine America’s National Anthem. The documentary premiered in June 2023 at the Tribeca Film Festival and debuted on Hulu on June 28, 2023. In 2020, Bowers also co-directed his first documentary short film, A CONCERTO IS A CONVERSATION with Proudfoot. The film, a New York Times Op-Doc – executive produced by DuVernay, premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival and earned an Academy Award® nomination for Best Documentary Short Subject at the 93rd Academy Awards®.

He has also created original music for the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater (alongside choreographer Kyle Abraham), worked with the American Youth Symphony to create a Violin Concerto, which premiered at Los Angeles’ Disney Hall (2020), was commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic to create a new horn concerto (2021) and he has collaborated with brands like Bang & Olufsen, Chevy and Krug Champagne. Bowers has multiple projects in development through Et Al Studios Productions, a production company he founded with his wife, Briana Henry.

This program is organized by Justen Leroy, Director of Public Programs and Community Outreach, with Alitzah Oros, Public Programming Associate, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.