Koki Nakono shares video for ‘Near-Perfect Synchronization’, album April 24 via Nø Førmat!

Japanese pianist Koki Nakano shares the video for his latest offering ‘Near-Perfect Synchronization’, taken from his new album ‘Pre-Choreographed’ out now via Nø Førmat! The follow-up to Nakano’s much-admired 2016 debut ‘Lift’, the new album is created in collaboration with cellist Vincent Segal. Watch ‘Near-Perfect Synchronization’ below – with praise for Koki already in from the likes of Louder Than War admiring its ‘moments of rare beauty’ and A Closer Listen “[turning] every expectation of piano music on its head”.

Hailing from Fukuoka Prefecture and later trained at both Japan’s prestigious Toho Gakuen music school and the Tokyo University of the Arts (alongside a sideline in electro-rock, via band Gas Law), Koki came to the attention of Nø Førmat! label founder Laurent Bizot when he performed at Tokyo’s Maison de la Culture in 2014. Bizot signed him on the spot – with Koki soon upping sticks to move permanently from Japan to France – continuing the label’s fondness for adventures with progressive pianists, begun back in 2004 when Nø Førmat! issued Chilly Gonzales’ pivotal ‘Solo Piano’.

Conceived alone by Nakano from A to Z, ‘Pre-Choreographed’ is the continuation of the opening chapter ‘Lift’ –  after his two-step with Vincent Segal, Koki now takes a leap forward. A pivotal moment was seeing Sara, a piece performed by the L-E-V dance company (of which Mariko Kakizaki is a member) in front of the Nymphéas by Monet, at the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris. “This experience got me thinking about the limits of our body,” the pianist explains; “but also about the limits of our individuality: which laid the foundations of ‘Pre-Choreographed’. When I compose, I keep images of bodies in a state of movement up in my head. They’re a great help to me when it comes to structuring each of my pieces, which develop as if they were responding to those movements.” 

The latest in a series of exquisitely choreographed videos released in tandem with Nakano’s forthcoming album, ‘Near-Perfect Synchronization’ was shot by Seroussi on location close to Paris, with hip hop-trained, contemporary dancer Dianor dwarfed by his vast surroundings as he dances through a large-scale auction of heavy plant machinery. Speaking about the making of the video, Seroussi says; “Koki really wanted to work with Amala Dianor. We met all together and Amala told me: “I like your work but you seem to like to contain the people you shoot, inside structures etc …”. It made me laugh and I thought he was right. So for this project, I decided I will give him as much space and freedom as he needed. I remembered this amazing location in Normandy and we all agreed on shooting there. I have a fascination for machines and metal and felt it would be a great match with the track. I loved the idea of shooting Amala dancing alone among thousands of perfectly-stored, unused machines.” 

Speaking about the track itself, Koki says; “This composition is inspired by the image of a couple walking towards the North pole or somewhere extreme on earth. Around them icebergs are breaking, but they don’t react – they are calm and determined to walk together till the end of their day. On the track you can hear multiple “flying” sounds and textures of a fax machine, a modem or an iceberg breaking up. I had written this piece before I saw the premiere of ‘Another Place’ by Mats Ek, although I remember that Ek’s piece vividly reminded me of the similar sensation I had when composing this piece.”

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