Cassette Memories

For more than two decades, I have been using the cassette Walkman for making field recordings which I keep as a sound diary. I consider these recordings to be personal memories, and not just sounds. I stage a performance by physically manipulating Walkmans by hand, re-collecting and re-constructing concrete sounds. What emerges from my sound memories is a sonic collage of ritualistic tape music.


I call this project "Cassette Memories." By documenting fragments of sound from my personal life, something is revealed in the accumulation. The meanings of the original events are stripped of their significance, exposing the essence of memory.


I realize "Cassette Memories" as a site-specific performance. I have found from past experience that my music is the strongest when I perform in a space which has its own memories--at a historic building, abandoned factory, old theater, even a street corner. It's a strange ritual. I am trying to both extract and abstract the essence of memory by playing my own field recordings, so to speak my personal memories, at a location that is saturated with its own memories. The result is invisible but one can feel live memories awaking sleeping memories.



Aki Onda interview with Daniele Balit
Liner notes of Aki Onda's album Ancient & Modern
Liner notes of Aki Onda's album Bon Voyage!

Aki Onda Cassette Memories at Cour Carrée of Louvre Museum


May 14, 2011

Organized by Daniele Balit (Birdcage)
Supported by the Dena Foundation for Contemporary Art
Collaboration with the Louvre Contemporary Art Program and Nuit des Musées

Photo by Sandrine Marc









Aki Onda Cassette Memories in La Goutte d'Or

Four locations in La Goutte d'Or neighborhood, Paris

Juee 2, 2012

Organized by Birdcage and Collectif MU

Photos by Sandrine Marc