Prayers for a Feverish Planet

Nocturne for Chinese Railway (2018) – Minato Sakamoto (Japan)

Railway is a highly energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly transportation. The recent expansion of the railway network in China transformed railway into the main mode of Chinese mobility. This piece credits Chinese railway maintenance workers, who examine various train facilities in nocturnal calmness and thus make a tiny, lonely, and anonymous contribution to saving our earth.

Ann adds: I find this piece beautiful in unexpected ways. And I like that it encourages us to use public transportation, which can help reverse climate change by reducing fossil fuel consumption.

Minato Sakamoto

Minato Sakamoto is a Japanese composer from Osaka. His compositions practice the unserious seriously, fuse spontaneous and organic qualities, and demonstrate a clear connection to the past.

His works have been featured across North America, Asia, and Europe in both concert settings and internationally acclaimed conferences. His current research focuses on the application of field recordings in algorithmic composition and computational creativity research. 

Minato is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Music at Duke University, USA. He previously studied at Amherst College and graduated summa cum laude in 2018. His current and past composition teachers include Stephen Jaffe, Scott Lindroth, John McDonald, and Eric Sawyer.

Minato is a Japanese chess (‘shogi’) lover and Accredited Meteorologist of Japan Meteorological Agency. As a railway addict, Minato constantly wastes his time to explore unique railways in the world. His favorite locomotive is China Railway DF4 Type. Favorite composer: Johannes Brahms.*

*Note: if you know Ann personally, it will come as no surprise that she selected a work by a fellow Brahms enthusiast.