Akio Suzuki & Aki Onda | KE I TE KI
Review by Giuseppe Pisano
When we talk about music we often tend to talk about time. The way a composer manages and builds structures over time. But sound is as much depending on space as it is related to time, everything from room acoustics to the way weather influences the qualities of sound in a radical way and taking such considerations into account this has become a crucial set of elements in the aesthetics of many modern day composers.
In KE I TE KI, Akio Suzuki and Aki Onda do a great job exploring the performing space and listening to detect and take advantage of all of its characteristics. The performing space and the way they interact with it and to their recordings becomes, by all means, part of the compositional process and playing techniques.
By knowing that we are listening to a recording of a performance we may expect that what we listen to will result in a different experience than being there, and attending the actual performance. This is true but not in a regretful way: the manner Suzuki and Onda deal with the microphone space generates a rich spatial image within the stereo space and thereby introduces an interesting proximity effect. By beaming to us all the microscopic presences and details of the acoustic instrument, and far washes of distal spaces where the low drones and field recordings blend with the actual room acoustics, eventually turning into an immersive sound field.
This sort of interplay is especially evident in the first piece of the album where, like in an actual soundscape, each source occupies a precise location, becoming then a landmark and acquiring its own identity by the relationship with the other actors in the field. All these elements together conflux into a holistic image where each sound feels like a natural inhabitant of the space, and becomes one with it. Altogether KE I TE KI is a not-to-miss release that would appeal to most electroacoustic improvisation lovers and field recording aficionados.