Naoko Sakata

Dancing Spirits

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Gothenburg-based Japanese musician Naoko Sakata new piano solo album ‘Dancing Spirits’ for due for release on March 26, 2021 via Pomperipossa Records, a Swedish label that has established itself as a beacon for avant-garde, drone, ambient and experimental music, led by artist Anna von Hausswolff.

The captivating and enchanting music on ‘Dancing Spirits’ is the daughter of the moment and therefore unrepeatable; pure improvisation and untampered freedom of expression. It is not a canonical listening and is almost impossible to classify into a genre or a category. Rather, it is the result of an experimental approach to music, where every single note follows the previous one without a determined principle other than that of absolute freedom. On ‘Dancing Spirits’ Naoko Sakata shows an aspect of musical experimentation that takes this definition to its most extreme limits. It is an artistic achievement that joins the world of natural phenomena because it is so unregulated in its manifestations, impetuous in its pace, incomprehensible in its laws, faithful and coherent only to one thing: its existence. 

Today she shares a first glimpse at the record with the tempestuous “Improvisation 3,” commenting: “When peace and chaos exists together, I feel like myself. I felt a strong connection with the music flowing in me."

Naoko Sakata describes her approach to music as follows: “When I sit in front of the piano, I, as a person, disappear. 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’ was recorded during two days at Annedalskyrkan, a church in the Swedish city of Gothenburg that is home to both Sakata and von Hausswolff. The album was recorded and produced by Filip Leyman and consists of seven improvisations, played by Naoko Sakata and performed on a Steinway grand piano. They represent the most authentic expression of the artist's musicality and her incomparable creative talent.

‘Dancing Spirits’ is an album that offers a new interpretation of music, of how important it is to listen to the creative impulses within us, to indulge them without obstacles, to free them without fear. It is also a unique window to the world of Naoko Sakata and on her peculiar interpretation of the meaning of art. A meaning that can only be heard, but not explained further.


1. Improvisation 1
2. Improvisation 2
3. Improvisation 3
4. Improvisation 4
5. Improvisation 5
6. Improvisation 6
7. Improvisation 7