Ami Yamasaki / “till a quiet room sings”


“Every space has its own sound, according to its shape and material, and it has already been singing long before you entered it.”

A few weeks back I attended the Tokyo Experimental Festival where I saw a performance by vocalist and cross-media artist, Ami Yamasaki. The space was limited to 20 people, the walls covered with thousands of origami feathers to catch and diversify the sounds of the room. Of course, a quiet space is never truly quiet, and so before the performance started guests were invited to sit and take in the changing ambient sounds around them. Yamasaki`s performance itself was a surreal experience, and an exploration into the nature of sound. The things she can do with her voice are quite incredible, and at times disturbing. Check out the video below as well as what she said about the installation.

“For this installation I checked and received nuances about the density of sounds: how sounds go around and flow in the space, and how muffled, crisp, or clear the sounds are. I attached numerous paper feathers covering the space to amplify or loosen up the sonorous features I caught, and those feathers function to resonate, reflect, or absorb the sounds. I vocalized and then attached paper feathers again and again, while communicating with the space to let it sing in a new way. This is how I formed the installation.

“This installation does not emit sounds by itself. Instead, in the deep quietness made by the feathers, please be all ears and blend your body with the space to listen to it. The space lies an extension of yourself, and how much you hear in the space is equal to how much you feel it is an extension of yourself. Please wait there until you start hearing the gradation of the world surrounding you. There are triangles in the exhibition space. You can pick one up, and walk around with it to explore sounds created by the geography of feathers, like divining for precious water or jewels with a dowsing rod.

“I think the world created by resonance, sound, and quietness directly reflects the auditory world of each one of us: it is a song that can be heard only by each person and it lets us meet ourselves. This work resembles the original space, as well as resembles you. Please stay long enough to start to figure out how the world is composed and with what the self is made.”

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Tokyo Art Beat: Trans Arts Tokyo 2013
Tokyo Art Beat: Tsuyoshi Hisakado, Composing Chaos 
Tokyo Art Beat: David Lynch – In Heaven, Everything is Fine. 
Tokyo Art Beat: Hello, My Name is Skywhale. 

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