Obsessed by the analog machines of the past, Japanese musician Ei Wada mastered the craft of tweaking the sounds from old tape recorders. He performed wild shows with the Open Reel Ensemble, from the stage of TEDxTokyo to last year’s Issey Miyake catwalk, creating unique sounds from analog sources.
The artist recreated the analog magic for the visitors of last month’s Media Arts Festival in his work Toki Ori Ori Nasu. With their wheels slowly turning, 4 old-fashioned recorders poured their tapes into narrow glass containers, creating ever-changing twisted shapes. Once the tapes came to an end, the spectators were in for a surprising musical treat
Among the elaborate high-tech installations of the festival, this surprisingly simple tribute to analog media resonated well with the audience. The tape patterns mesmerized those who came near the work, and crowds rushed to the recorders as soon as the tapes rewinded. We can thank Ai Wada for showing us that after decades of use – and years of abandon – old media still has surprises in store for us.