Aki OndaUnited States
Grants Awarded2017 | Music | Indonesia, Japan, Philippines
for a two-month research trip to the Philippines, Indonesia, and Japan to trace the legacy of Dr. José M. Macedas influence on contemporary experimental performance
ACC grantee Aki Onda, an artist and composer based in New York, is currently in Manila on his ACC Fellowship. Aki Onda is particularly known for what he describes as “Cassette Memories” — works compiled from a “sound diary” of field-recordings collected by using a Walkman over a span of a quarter-century. His work takes on the forms of composition, performance, and the visual and has been presented in a variety of spaces and programs including MoMA, The Kitchen, documenta 14, Pompidou Center, The Louve, Palais de Tokyo, Bozar, and many others. Onda has frequently collaborated with filmmakers, visual artists, and choreographers, including Ken Jacobs, Michael Snow, Raha Raissnia, Akio Suzuki, and Takao Kawaguchi.
Though they differ in generation and performance practice, the NYC-based Onda (b. 1967) and the Kyotango-based Suzuki (b. 1941) share an astonishingly inventive, open-ended, and spontaneous approach to the infinite and variegated possibilities of sound. Since initiating a collaborative relationship in 2005, the duo have embarked on a number of tours in Europe and Asia, exploring site-specific locations ranging from an abandoned factory on the outskirts of Brussels to an underground parking lot in Glasgow. Suzuki and Onda released their first album ma ta ta bi on ORAL_records in 2014. In 2015, Suzuki and Onda had ke i te ki US tour, presented by ISSUE Project Room. This year, they were invited to perform at documenta 14 in Athens.
Onda and Suzuki perform by utilizing unconventional and self-made instruments including analog cassette Walkmans and radios, found pieces of wood, nails, hammers, buckets, marbles, and glass jars, allowing the individual architecture and acoustics of the various sites to guide the flow and development of the performances. The performance begins with the artists in the middle of the space, surrounded by the audience, before gradually moving throughout the environment as the performance unfolds.
Aki Onda is currently on a 2-month ACC research trip to the Philippines, Indonesia, and Japan tracing the legacy of Dr. José M. Maceda’s influence on contemporary experimental performance. Akio Suzuki received ACC fellowships in 1980 and 2000.