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Aki Onda | Editions – Issue #2

Artist:         Aki Onda
Title:          untitled  | ©
Date:         unknown
Duration:   5’07

ISSUE2 ONDA Aki Onda | Editions – Issue #2

photo by: Maki Kaoru

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I have been using the cassette Walkman for making field recordings which I keep as a sound diary. I consider these recordings to be personal memories, and not just sounds. I compose my music by physically manipulating Walkmans by hand, re-collecting and re-constructing concrete sounds. What emerges from my sound memories is a sonic collage of ritualistic tape music.

The first part of this composition was recorded in Saarbruecken, Germany. One evening, I was at the autumn festival, listening to the marching brass band and children singing along with music. I saw hundreds of people’s breath went up like fog in piercing cold air. It was one of the coldest nights in November.

The second part – I don’t remember when I heard or recorded this sound. I have no clue. I just found this tape in my cassette collection.


Aki Onda is an electronic musician, composer, and visual artist. Onda was born in Japan and currently resides in New York. He is particularly known for his Cassette Memories project – works compiled from a “sound diary” of field-recordings collected by Onda over a span of two decades. Onda’s musical instrument of choice is the cassette Walkman. Not only does he capture field recordings with the Walkman, he also physically manipulates multiple Walkmans with electronics in his performances. In another of his projects, Cinemage, Onda produces slide projections of still photo images set to live guitar improvisation. Onda has collaborated with artists such as Michael Snow, Ken Jacobs, Alan Licht, Loren Connors, Oren Ambarchi, Noël Akchoté, Blixa Bargeld, Akio Suzuki, Yoshio Machida and Tujiko Noriko.


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