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Ryoko Akama
Visiting Artist (Atelier Elektronik)

Ryoko Akama is a sound artist / composer / performer, who approaches listening situations that magnify silence, time and space and offer quiet temporal/spatial experiences. Her sound works employ small and fragile objects such as paper balloons and glass bottles, creating tiny occurrences that embody ‘almost nothing’ aesthetics. She composes text events and performs a diversity of alternative scores in collaboration with international artists. She
runs melange edition label, amespace and co-edits mumei publishing.

What do you want to find out with your music?

Searching for a particular answer or find-out with my music (or rather sound) sounds misleading to what I do. I am ‚playing with‘ perceptions of myself, audiences and space we are in. For example, I get obsessed with little scars, holes or scratches on a white wall. These practical facts describing age and time fascinate me. This feeling or obsession applies to my performance and composition that examines listening, seeing and experiencing. It reflects some important elements of Japanese aesthetics such as architecture, ceramics, tea ceremony and Not theatre. Another thing about my work is focused on phenomena. Random objects are automated by wind, magnet, gravity, and other factors which I could never control fully. If anything, my work is about ’noticing‘. It is the noticing in tiny occurrences and almost nothing incidents.

How important is the context, in which you perform, to you? 

Different contexts influence my work very much, and my instrumentation brings a different context to the other elements as well.

Where are the limits of notation?

I am not a classically trained musician. Therefore, I don’t see notation as ‚old‘ and non- as ’new‘. For me, notation is just another way of musical strategy. Here, ’notation‘ means dots on staves, correct? There are so many notated music in the world rather than that, and I like looking into different world notations. I see them more as forms and patterns. In the same way, I see poems more as a collection of letters, or a composition. I treat them very similar to how I work with found objects and sine tones.


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