坂本龍一: 音楽家
Ryuichi Sakamoto

Recovery Through Musical Instruments

Soon after the disaster of 3/11, as a person involved with music, it came to me to do something about the many school instruments damaged by the earthquake and tsunami. I knew that while at first the survivors would be completely preoccupied with the challenges of securing food, water and shelter, there would soon come a time when books and music would be needed as well.

Several years ago, after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, I remember feeling a little chagrined when I saw on the news that students at a school in the disaster zone had received gifts of musical instruments for their jazz club, and were able to make music again, playing for residents living in a temporary evacuation shelter. That was exactly what I had wanted to do, but I quickly realized that it shouldn't be a race to see who would be first in, and I held back. I understood that recovery would take a very long time, as well as much patience and money.

First, we'll survey the state of damage to musical instruments in the vast earthquake and tsunami region, analyze what is needed where, investigate who can do what, raise funds, and then start the actual repair of musical instruments. In cases where instruments are damaged beyond repair or simply lost, we will need to provide new instruments. With decisions on who will bear the costs, and much else, there is a mountain of work still to do.

To think that even just with musical instruments there are all these issues to deal with, I am again awestruck with the truly massive scale of the devastation in Eastern Japan. Please, everyone, come and help with your support.

Ryuichi Sakamoto