Akari Komura

Akari Komura (b.1996) is a Japanese composer-vocalist whose works center around contemplative engagement with listening and soundmaking. Her interest in somatic practice and embodied consciousness is central to her creative process. Her works have been presented at the Atlantic Music Festival, Composers Conference, Montreal Contemporary Music Lab, Nief-Norf, and soundSCAPE. She holds a M.M. in Composition from the University of Michigan and a B.A. in Vocal Arts from the University of California, Irvine. Her major teachers include Evan Chambers, Roshanne Etezady, and Stephen Rush. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D in Composition at University of California San Diego.

Artist Location: San Diego, CA

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PARTICIPATION

Soundscapes [audio tracks] On-site June 3rd and online June 11th

Mute the motion 
I collected all my samples inside of a parked still car including fastening/unfastening of the seatbelts, inserting the key, knocking on the window, parking brake, and rain hitting on the roof. After categorizing them, the artistic approach arose from my interest in trying to produce organic human-like in contrast to the sound resource, a car, which is a lifeless machine made out of metals and an engine.
The work starts out with mechanical noises and slowly transforms into a heartbeat-like sound. I tried to capture a feeling of being inside a womb from around 0’40”, which then shifts into an ocean-like sound where the watery timbre gradually connects to the actual rain sound on the car roof. The sharp automation of the bandpass at the end function to bring a sense of cars passing by swiftly, evoking them as the sound source of this entire piece. 

Weaving Water 
The work was written in imagination of a primal memory of being surrounded by water in the womb. Through the sense of touching, smelling, drinking, and seeing water, how do we experience water as something that we used to float inside?

On-site Event June 4th

Breathe with the Wind
Breathe with the Wind is a site-specific sound installation/sound ceremony that explores the ultimate dimension of intimacy with the earth. The work engages to curate a contemplative space for the participants to find an awareness or closer relation to nature. In particular, the air element is symbolic to the work through the perception of winds enfolding our inhaled and exhaled breaths as a collective air. The participants (sound-makers/musicians and listeners/audience) are invited to listen, interpret, and embody the elements of nature. The central element of wind derives from a perception that it is a flow of air traveling and threading across the Earth’s surface. The project attempts to draw attention to such interconnectedness and honor of the nature elements which exist both internal and external to our bodies. Original hand-made wind chimes and text prompts on wood discs are going to hang from trees or any hangable object in the outdoor space to animate the movement of air. The text prompts will guide contemplating, listening, and imagining our connection to air which is enfolded in our breath and the wind. The installation hopes to invite people to perceive the invisible, yet, tangible quality of air through being in this visually and aurally interactive space. The project ultimately aspires to create a meditative, healing, and mindful space in the time of our current global society in turmoil.

Soundscapes [audio tracks] On-site and online June 4th

On the breath
The piece entirely comprises voice samples that I recorded during my daily vocal warmup exercises. It includes breathing exercises, humming, buzzing on the /z/ consonant, lip trills, and descending octave yawn-sighs. The aesthetic goal was to create a musical piece out of this everyday routine to prepare my voice from an “incomplete” or “raw” state to a full performance voice. I was also inspired by Jan Jelinek’s​ John Cage, I’ve Been Told To Ask You The Following Question, where I wanted to incorporate an element of non-semantic sound particles as he collected from an interview. In this piece, I recorded myself singing through a piece of classical repertoire and cut out all the singing parts to be left with the abrupt sound of inhales between musical phrases.

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CrOsS-sEcTiOn
This piece was written in response to an art installation “Site + Sounds: Musical Labels Project” at the University of Michigan Museum of Arts. One of their thematic collections is “Building Blocks” which consists of two acrylic canvas paintings by two different artists: Untitled Cube (1969) by Alvin D. Loving, and Simpsonville (1980) by Edward Avedisian. There is a sense of conflict in the nature of the two works where Avedisian’s piece appears energetic in vivid colors and shapes, while Loving’s three-dimensional work has more geometrical strictness. The exchange between the acoustic timbre exploration and everyday sound gestures in the electronics invites you to experience a new exchange between you and the painting.

Earmaginations [silent videos] On-site and online June 4th

The sun rustled through
The work invites viewers to perceive the subtlety in the movements of air, trees, and sunlight. As these movements consist of both tangible and intangible sensory experiences, this parallel challenges the tangibility of visible landscape and imagined soundscape. The work addresses the significance of heightening our aural attention to delicate sounds which are generated by the natural environment.

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