Sound artist Ei Wada (born 1987) takes old-fashioned electronic machines and converts them into computer-controlled devices. Wada puts on performances with these machines, as well as exhibiting them along with his musical works. In 2009, he started Open Reel Ensemble, a group that manipulates and plays reel-to-reel tape recorders. The group is involved in concert performances, DVD, CD and book publishing, and art installations. It recently began an ambitious orchestral project using 20 reel-to-reel tape recorders.
Wada’s signature open reel recorder sound installation is on view at this year’s Very Fun Park. The slowly unwinding tape visualizes the passage of time, compressing it into a black-and-white space. At a certain point, a surprisingly familiar tune flows like a virtual river, where the visual and aural senses converge.