Ryuichi Sakamoto and Krug | Illuminate New Sensations



Ryuichi Sakamoto, composer, producer, artist, environmental activist, and Krug Champagne teamed up to create a series of musical experiences entitled SEEING SOUND, HEARING KRUG, which transcends reality through new music pairing experiences. Krug and Sakamoto kicked off in New York with the first of three global events, the second stop was celebrated in London, where Luxiders Magazine could experience a deep dive into a musical composition along with the three champagnes served.

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Building on the notion of food pairing and translating this idea into music, the House of Krug invites Krug Lovers to discover its Champagnes through music-pairings. Ryuichi SAKAMOTO composed and recorded a Suite in three movements to illustrate a trio of Krug Champagnes called ‘Suite for Krug in 2008’: Krug Clos du Mesnil 2008, Krug 2008 and Krug Grande Cuvée 164ème Édition. The vintage 2008 itself stands for extraordinary, imparting exceptional elegance on the fruit and remarkable grapes quality due to gentle conditions of the season, which coincided with one of the coolest years in the last decade.


The voyage of ‘Suite for Krug in 2008’ inspired Ryuichi Sakamoto, who is well known for incorporating nature into his eclectic  soundscapes, to discover the three Krug Champagnes for 18 months. With three expressions around the same harvest, the composer was inspired to create a symphony in three movements – each movement illustrating one Champagne while being encapsulated in a common symphony translating the sensations he felt during tasting into sound.


“I am in my studio most days making music. But to be back in a large studio, making music with many musicians, the feeling of joy and elation is on another level. It’s been a while since I last savored this. It’s a bit of cliché but there really is something special when an orchestra plays together in one room.” Ryuichi Sakamoto



The three-movement performance was a synesthetic journey that lit up the Alexandra Palace, a Victorian theatre located on a hill in the north of the London Borough of Haringey, before guests were seated for a dinner of champagne pairings inspired by the performance. Notable attendees included Janet Jackson, Roisin Murphy, Lorenzo Licitra, Niklas Paschburg and more.

First Movement - KRUG CLOS DU MESNIL 2008 

The first movement is a Solo, echoing the purity and precision. “For this pure, single plot Champagne I minimized the arrangement to the core melodic theme. This minimal form represents the discrete, fresh, and inspiring sensations of Krug Clos du Mesnil 2008.” Ryuichi Sakamoto

Second Movement - KRUG 2008 

The second movement brings a small ensemble together around Krug 2008.  “It is the musical ensemble telling the story of the year in Champagne. For this balanced and elegant Champagne, I chose an ensemble of primarily violins, cellos, and other stringed instruments but also added woodwinds for depth.” Ryuichi Sakamoto

Third Movement - KRUG GRANDE CUVÉE 164ème ÉDITION

The third Movement is performed by a full symphonic orchestra. “I was on a quest for harmony from multiple sounds, instrumental & electronic. The fullness of flavours and aromas of Krug Grande Cuvée 164ème Édition means that everyone finds something in it that strikes them in a personal way – each experience is unique. My third movement is the same, each listener will take away something different.” Ryuichi Sakamoto



The last of the three global events will take place in Tokyo. Starting in October, SEEING SOUND, HEARING KRUG experience will become a succession of 15 local events around the world featuring musical immersions that reproduce the full experience of a live orchestra, through 3D music technology. Guests will enjoy the immersive symphonic experience of ‘Suite for Krug in 2008’ on Devialet Phantom speakers.


+  Words & Photos

Jens Wittwer 
Entry: Jack Jones