Improvised Music from Japan / Aki Onda


Cinemage is an audio-visual project started by Aki Onda in 2005. Performances are composed of slide projections of still photographs and improvised music. Cinemage means "images for cinema," or "homage for cinema."

The visual images in Cinemage are snapshots taken from Onda's daily life. He applies similar methods developed from his work as a composer, particularly his ongoing project Cassette Memories, in which he uses field-recordings he made as a diary of sound. By documenting fragments of his personal life, something is revealed in their accumulation--the particulars within lose significance. What emerges is the architecture, and the essence, of memory; something from which concrete meaning has been stripped.

Although most photographers slice out a single moment in time to render an image as absolute, Onda's visual images consist of a moment within a movement. The sensibility is essentially filmic. The photos are more like moving images than stills and the style is similar to Chris Marker's La Jetee. Projected on a screen, the images have the eerie familiarity of an out-of-focus memory and evoke a feeling of déjà vu.

For this project, Loren Conners & Alan Licht, Noël Akchoté & Jean-François Pauvros, and Oren Ambarchi play guitar along with Onda's visuals (duo is the best, but solo is also possible). The music is equally important as the visual images, and not just accompaniment. These musicians have been examining the relationship between visuals and sound in other projects, and bring a deep understanding of its possibilities to Cinemage.

In this multi-layered audio-visual space, what is experienced is an immersion into a cinematic state which mutually transcends both reality and imagination. More ambiguous than normal mixed media performance, Cinemage is not film, nor music, nor photography, but rather an unexplored territory located between media.

Cinemage may be performed at a gallery, concert hall, film theater, or any kind of public space. Also, it may be exhibited as an installation in a gallery space, without sound or music.

Last updated: June 30, 2006