Biography

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Kazuya Nagaya is a Japanese artist who creates immersive, ritualized compositions through the use of bronze bells, gongs and singing bowls. Since releasing his first album ‘Utsuho’ in 1999, he has composed music for a range of projects, ranging from collaborations with Tibetan Buddhist monks to a remix for Plastikman. Kazuya Nagaya uses bronze bells, gongs and singing bowls which are mostly used in Buddhist or Hindu rituals in Tibet, Bali and Japan. He creates unique ambient music by mixing these sacred instruments with modern instruments.

 

Nagaya`s music is rooted in philosophies and sensibilities unique to Japan. Both Japanese Buddhism -the likes of Zen- and Japan's exquisite forms of artistic expression, such as ink paintings and haiku, all put high value on extreme simplicity entirely free from ornamentation, and indeed it is in their simplicity that they express, paradoxically, the profundity of their spirituality. In this same sense, the ambient music produced by Kazuya Nagaya aims to convey profundity of spirit to the listener by virtue of its very simplicity.

 

Nagaya started out to pursue his talents in literature and became a writer. His works, especially his story titled "Indio no mabushii kami" about Japan's ethnic minority, won enthusiastic praise within Japan's publishing circles. During this period, he also became deeply interested in literary works that were becoming lost in the shuffle of contemporary Japanese society: novels like the ‘Tales of Genji’, as well as Buddhist folktales and Zen philosophical works. These interests breathed life into his music, and the sensibilities and philosophical views which he developed during his literary years have come to be reflected in large measure in the music he creates today.

 

An example of this can be detected in the sounds of bells heard so frequently in his music. The giant bells found in Japanese temples are rung each New Year's eve. The sound is believed to purify and wash away the cares of this mortal world, and crowds flock to listen in reverent silence. What they listen for, however, is not the sound at the moment the bell is struck, but rather the fading sound that follows. As the sound fades away, simultaneously, the depth of their own silence grows even greater. In this way, the sound of the bell makes people aware of the profound silence - and richness - lying within themselves. It is silence of a depth fundamentally identical to that which is engendered through meditation or Zen. The temple bell, meditation and Zen are all ways of penetrating into the depths of one's self.

長屋和哉

 

これまでに11枚のアンビエントアルバムをリリース(2019年現在)。

初期の3枚「うつほ」「千の熊野」「魂は空に 魄は地に」は修験の聖地・吉野を拠点に制作された吉野3部作で、極限まで音を削り込んだ静寂の余韻を特徴としている。ストイックで凛と張りつめた気配が漂うアルバム群。

その後、八ヶ岳に拠点を移し、「シークレットライム」「すべての美しい闇のために」「イリュミナシオン/冥王星」「サレントガーデン」「光の響き」「Microscope of Heraclitus」をリリース。また、EPcold moon」を日本のPropostからリリース。EPTokyo Unconscious」をスペインのレーベルIndigo Rawよりリリース。

ドイツのレーベルMinusから「Utshuho」その他リミックスをリリース。イタリアのCognito PerceptiよりEPOn Lotus」をリリース。「Microscope of Heraclitus」はスペインのレーベルIndigo Rawよりリリース。

Plastik manのリミックスをMinusよりリリース。

 

「地球交響曲第6番」に出演。その他「地球交響曲」シリーズに楽曲を提供。

星野リゾート「星のや軽井沢」「星のや京都」「ブレストンコート」の館内音楽、イベント用音楽、教会の音楽などを作曲。

​パリコレで、ファッションデザイナーIris Van Herpenと共演。

ドキュメンタリー「神々の響きを求めて 熊野・千年の時を超えてこだまする音」(BS-i)で主演。

著書では、エッセイ集「すべての美しい闇のために」(春秋社刊)、小説「ナヘルの鐘」(人間社刊)

小説「インディオの眩しい髪」で文芸春秋文学界新人賞佳作を受賞。

ヨーロッパを中心として海外公演多数。国内での公演も数多い。

© 2020 Kazuya Nagaya