CMU Approved

Approved: Naoko Sakata

By | Published on Tuesday 16 March 2021

Naoko Sakata

Set for release through Anna von Hausswolff’s Pomperipossa label later this month, Naoko Sakata’s debut album ‘Dancing Spirits’ is an entrancing and beautiful piece of work. Sakata is clearly a musician with an intimate knowledge of the rules of playing the piano, while also having no inclination to follow them.

Across seven improvised pieces recorded over two days in a Gothenburg church, Sakata’s playing veers between gentle breeze and all out hurricane. However, even in the most chaotic moments, there is a feeling that Sakata is still in control, albeit perhaps not consciously.

“When peace and chaos exist together, I feel like myself”, she says. “I felt a strong connection with the music flowing in me”.

“When I sit in front of the piano, I, as a person, disappear”, she goes on. “My body becomes a conduit for expressing the music that I can hear in my head. There are no obstacles to its realisation and I don’t follow rules on how to make it happen. It is at the same time something natural and highly spiritual, sacred and wild, something that lives in a moment in time and only in that, before disappearing forever”.

‘Dancing Spirits’ is out on 26 Mar. Listen to ‘Improvisation 3’ here:

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