Kazuya Nagaya MUTEK, Montreal QC, August 21

Kazuya Nagaya MUTEK, Montreal QC, August 21
Photo: Myriam Ménard
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Japanese percussionist and ambient producer Kazuya Nagaya's stage at Théâtre Maisonneuve was beautifully set with a ring of 212 singing bowls, but he barely touched them. 
 
Starting his set from the centre of the shining field, he struck a larger singing bowl and spun some deep tones out of it, but then he clicked on an ambient track on his laptop and sat there virtually motionless as the digitally processed sounds of lapping bass and sombre strings worked their way through the 1400-seat theatre. The hundreds of instruments sparkling around him went all but forgotten, Nagaya addressing them only a handful of times over the better part of an hour, selectively chiming clusters of the smaller bowls once as he walked clockwise around the ring, then back to the centre to select another track. Later, he'd do it all counter clockwise, but the laptop did most of the heavy lifting, with little intervention.