“What is this sound?”

thumbnailComposer and Fluxus artist Yoshi Wada turns 70 this year and brings one of his unique, live sound experiences to the Berkeley Art Museum. Wada will be performing in collaboration with his son, composer Tashi Wada, using an odd mixture of instruments that includes acoustic sirens, alarm bells, bagpipe, steel barrel gong, audio generators and reed organ. In Yoshi Wada’s own words: “When it comes to experiments with sound frequencies, I need to get into my inner ear. Inner ear is in my ear. Sound travels deep into my cells. I search for deep and ringing sound.”

Yoshi Wada is a composer and sound installation artist born in 1943 in Kyoto, Japan. He studied sculpture at the Kyoto University of Fine Arts and later joined the Fluxus movement in 1968 after meeting its founder George Maciunas. In the early 1970s, Wada began building homemade musical instruments and writing compositions for them based on his personal research in timbre, resonance, and improvisation with the overtone series. He studied music composition with La Monte Young, North Indian singing with Pandit Pran Nath, and Scottish Bagpipe with James McIntosh and Nancy Crutcher. Wada has presented his work at The Kitchen, New York; New Music in America, New York; Whitney Biennial, New York; Akademie der Kunste, Berlin; Emily Harvey Gallery, New York; Biennale of Sydney, Australia; Festival d’Automne, Paris; PS1, New York; Venice Biennale; and AV Festival, Newcastle, UK. His recorded works are available via Japanese record labels EM Records/Omega Point.

Tashi Wada was born in New York and lives in California. He received a degree in music composition from California Institute of the Arts following his studies with James Tenney. Wada’s compositions use apparently simple structures to generate rich and unanticipated perceptual effects. He performs regularly in the United States and Europe, often in collaboration with other artists including Charles Curtis, Stephan Mathieu and his father Yoshi Wada.