Cassette Memories (2003)

Aki Onda has performed with multiple cassette walkmans and electronics, using field-recording sounds that he has recorded himself as a diary for more than a decade. He released the first album of the series, Cassette Memories in 2003, under the title Ancient & Modern, followed by the second album, Bon Voyage!
Cassette Memories is a music performance, or a ritual, that conjures up the general essence of memory as Onda playes his own personal memories. He uses old tube guitar and bass amps to deliver the desired warmness and depth of cassettes.
These cassette diaries are only memories of sound, dreamscapes, freed from all meaning and even from Onda's own subjectivity. The artist conducts his attention to the origin of the sounds. It is an event that is partly visible but seen mostly in one's imagination. I think Onda openly acknowledges his debt to visionaries of the medium such as Stan Brakhage and Jonas Mekas.

Cassette Memories has been realized as a site-specific performance because Aki Onda found that his music is stronger when he performs in a space which has its own memories: memories awake memories. Inside this memorial space, he burns candlelight as a symbol of reminiscence.
This project began with Aki Onda's travel: he got into the habit of making cassette recordings of sounds and ambiences he heard wherever he went. He used a little hand-held device to do it. It became so important that he turned it into a project and gave it a name: Cassette Memories.
Thus, Onda, who forged the music from the sounds of everyday life, began to record those sounds around him that caught his attention. He captured all those songs that contained an eerily familiar quality, altough they're divorced from any specific moment in time. Onda mixed the etereal element to obtain an eternal deja-vu; a moment in which all sound seems to flash back in a single spectacle. And naturally, one day, he noticed his collection of cassettes was beginning to take up too much shelf space!

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