Anticipation met anxiety. They danced for thirty minutes and then, finally, were silenced by the twenty five that followed; on this, our 36th episode.
Daniel Klag arrived early to the studio, bearing two samplers, a mixer, an iPad, and some effects pedals. 10PM sharp, we started, while the station’s signal did not. Troubleshoot, reset, retweet… 10:30 sharp, we began again. With the lights out, Daniel, fresh off the release of Reality and Self, produced an exceptional wash of static. And all was gone.
Following the set we spoke on the topic of ‘sound objects’. Daniel turned me onto Aki Onda‘s Diary, and with some encouragement, he’s collected those thoughts in the short piece below.
Daniel Klag: Aki Onda’s Diary, released in 2011, consists of a sixty-minute cassette, coupled with a book containing actual-size photographs of forty-one other cassettes in Onda’s library. Here, cassette tapes are not only finished products, but also artifacts of the creation process.
As Onda describes in the book:
“Over a span of two decades, 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.
Around the year 2002, I began doing performances in New York using my cassette collection. Playing back these recorded tapes, re-collecting and re-constructing sound memories, until they lose their meanings and subjectivity and begin to resonate as the memory of sound.”
The tape provided with this release contains two field recordings of calm beach sounds, one taken in Celestun, Mexico and the other in Trouville, France. The listener is transported to another time and place, imagining the scene from the audio clues provided: light footsteps, seabirds passing by, waves crashing, wind crackling as it passes the microphone.
We are left to wonder the contents of the other forty-one tapes, making guesses based on their scribbled labels. “Birds Conversation Eckford Street,” “Morocco ’88,” “Escalator at 53rd Subway”—the titles conjure up images of scenes both familiar and exotic. Though we are several levels removed from the original sound source, the photographs are beautiful in themselves, offering a glimpse at Onda’s view of the world.