Koki Nakano is a composer and a pianist, born in 1988 in Fukuoka, Japan. He has been playing piano since he was three years old. After graduating Music High School at Toho Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo, he enrolled at the composition department of Tokyo University of the Arts. He has performed recitals at the Louvre and the Théâtre du Châtelet (Paris), Cadogan Hall (London), Lincoln Center (New York). In 2016, he released his first album Lift on the french label Noformat, followed by the second titled Pre-chographed released in April 2020. He collaborated with many artists including the choreographer Damien Jalet and the visual artist Kohei Nawa. Currently we are expecting his third full-length release, titled Oceanic Feeling.
1. Oceaning Feeling is an expression coined by the French writer and musician Romain Rolland. He described it as “the sensation of eternity, a feeling of being one with the external world as a whole”.
2. Oneness experienced by mother and fetus during pregnancy, is the only real-time, where we are one being, but also connected to someone else. We carry inborn memory from that period.
3. There’s no sound without movement, there’s no movement without sound. The two are inseparable.
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
My compositions are strongly linked to my feelings of everyday life. landscapes, smells, everyday new things, collaborations, relationships with people around. all of these shape the mindscape of days, it gives the mood to my works. More on the technical level, watching contemporary dance often gives me inspiration for the musical phrases. It often becomes the trigger of compositions.
2. How and when did you get into making music?
I started playing the piano when I was 3 years old, then I started classical écriture training when I was 18 years old. Afterward I formed my band with vocals, cello, piano, and electro. (These sounds have been regulars in my composition ever since.) I have been organizing concerts every month for 3 years and composed new pieces for every show. It was the most practical training for me.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
Phantom Thread (sound track) – Jonny Greenwood
Bop – Brandt Brauer Frick
Bach: Goldberg Variations (1981) – Glenn gould
Moondog 2 – Moondog
Cerulean – Baths
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
It was the first city I visited abroad. I was living there for a total of 6 months. I listened to many legendary international classical pianists in Berlin, such as Maurizio Pollini, András Schiff, also I went to live shows of artists who were influential for me in my youth such as Brandt Brauer Frick and Avishai Cohen.
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
It’s very difficult to imagine but I was curious about working as a film director or a theatre director when I was younger.
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
Peel – Kmru
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Paul Thomas Anderson
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
Performing my composition for Damien Jalet’s choreography ‘Brise-Lames’ with 9 dancers of the Paris Opera, for their opening gala at Palais Garnier.
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
As important as it is in our actual life.
Piano, microphone, PC are all necessities in my compositions for now. As I start my compositions from the recording of my improvisation, I’m trying to conserve the idea which comes from my physicality in a certain level.
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
Yes. They are all working in art such as film and fashion. I’m glad that they are always impatient to listen to my new releases!