nagori is one of these untranslatable words. In Japanese, it evokes the traces of something that has left us, the aftertaste of a season, of an event, of a person. We all feel nagori for the life before the pandemic, a life remembered which we seek again, knowing that it will never come back. This is the premise of the interaction score that governs this project – ther musicians constantly trace memories of their own playing, but also the playing of others. Two ensembles in two locations, Viitasaari and Berlin, exchange recordings of their music daily, a music contemplating both losses and hopes for renewal. Each evening they attempt to capture the spirit of their own improvisations from the same morning – thereby transforming it. And at the end, they try to evoke the evolution of the whole process, 4 days of constant exchange, likened to four seasons of the year.
rengakai is a poetological term: it denotes the type of oral poetry battles common at social events in pre-Meiji Japan. A community of poets, guided by principles of the traditional renga-poem (a forerunner of the better known haiku), would together create a chain of poems, each renga a beauty unto itself – and yet linked to the previous poet’s renga and determining that of the next poet. This is also what we will do together – create a chain of musical poems that can speak for themselves, that are moments of contemplation and stillness: but in their sequence they again evoke the flow of time, of nagori.