FRIDAY

Ryuichi Sakamoto is a commercial composer. Literally. “Energy Flow” was written for a health tonic ad, but it rose to the top of the Japanese pop charts, the first solo piano piece ever to do so. That surprise hit opens Sakamoto’s new album, BTTB, short for “Back to the Basic.” on the album, Sakamoto adopts the styles of the French composers who first drew him to the piano as a child: Satie and, especially, Ravel. Sakamoto’s full-circle journey has been quite eventful, with lots of side trips, as he has never recognized the musical boundaries too many artists carefully guard. While studying and recording so-called “serious” music, Sakamoto became an international pop star with the Yellow Magic orchestra, a group that, along with Kraftwerk, drafted the schematics for electro-pop circuitry. However, Sakamoto is probably best known for his highbrow stuff. His score for Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor won him an Academy Award, and last year Sakamoto’s contemporary classical career expanded to include an opera, Life. But don’t worry, Sakamoto has not forsaken his pop side. Remixes of his 1998 orchestral work Discord: Untitled 01 were released on the hip triphop label Ninja Tune, and tonight’s solo piano concert features turntablist DJ Lovegroove. Sakamoto performs at 10 p.m. Friday, March 24, at the 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $20. (202) 393-0930. (Mark W. Sullivan)