Biography Biography of Kazuya Nagaya

Kazuya Nagaya

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 such as keyboards and electric guitars.
Before starting his solo carrier, Nagaya composed music for broadcasted commercials and won the finalist prize for "Best Use of Sound" from the "Hollywood Radio & Television Sociaty".
Earlier, in his twenties, he started out pursuing 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.

Nagaya began his carrier as a solo musician with the 1999 release of his first album, "Utsuho". He has released an additional 7 solo albums since then, as of 2010.
In 2002, released a collaboration entitled "Resonator" with the American avant-garde composer Carl Stone.
In 2004, Nagaya`s tracks were used extensively in "Gaia Symphony No. 4", a well-known documentary flim directed by Jin Tatsumura.
In 2005, composed the sound track for the mexican film "WA".
In 2007, appeared in the movie "Gaia Symphony No. 6". Also published a book, "For All the Radiant Darknesses", a collection of his essays which is about his life, remarkable persons he has met, and reflections on his travels in troubled societies in the third world (developing world).
In 2008, joined with the compilation album "Tranchillizer" which was released by the chill out & trance label, Peak Records, in Switzerland.
In 2010, joined with the soundtrack "Gaia Symphony No. 7"
In 2011, joined the remix album "Replikant" of Plastikman a.k.a. Richie Hawtin.

Nagaya is active as a performer of live music in Japan, the US and the other countries. He has Collaborated with an eclectic range of artists, from musicians, dancers or painters to monks of esoteric Tibetan Buddhism, channelers, and a Native American story teller in Alaska.

2. Works

Replikant / remix album of Plastikman a.k.a. Richie Hawtin / feb. 2011
Silent Garden / solo album / sep. 2010
Gaia Symphony no.7 / soundtrack / jul. 2010
Harmonic in the Light / solo album / jun. 2009
Tranchillizer / V.A. / apr. 2008
For All the Radiant Darknesses / Book / nov. 2007
Gaia Symphony no.6 / movie performing / may 2007
Illuminations / Pluto / solo album / jan. 2006
For All the Radiant Darknesses / solo album / oct. 2004
Kumano / TV programm starring / sep. 2003
Secret Rhymes / solo album / jan. 2003
Resonator / album with Carl Stone / jun. 2002
Gaia Symphony no.4 / soundtrack / oct. 2001
Skyward the Spirit, Earthbound the Soul / solo album / jul. 2001
Kumano of a Thousand Gods / solo album / apr. 2000
Utsuho / solo album / jan. 1999

3. Live Performances

Performance with a Hawaiian shaman / Japan / 2010
Performance with a Hawaiian shaman / Hawai / 2009
Solo tour in California / California tour / 2007
Solo tour in California / California tour / 2005
Performance with monks / Japan tour / 2005
Performance with a singer Susan Osborn / Japan tour / 2004
Performance with a native american story teller / Japan tour / 2004
Performance with monks /Mongolia tour / 2004
Performance with a dancer, Senrei Nishikawa /Poland tour / 2001
Collaboration with a artist, Shinji Komiya / Vienna, Austria / 1999
Performance with a member of KODO / Japan tour / 1999

4. Collaborators

Plastikman a.k.a. Richie Hawtin (musician)
Carl Stone (musician)
Toshinori Kondo (musician)
Susan Osborn (musician)
Sayoko Yamaguchi (dancer)
Tibetan buddhism monks (monks)
Native american story teller (medicine man)
Hawaiian kafuna (shaman)
Jin Tatsumura (movie director)

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