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Ei Wada rebuilds old electric appliances into electronic musical instruments, and creates and exhibits works of art and music performed by new and unique methods.1) He is a musician, sound sculptor, and prolific instrument builder based in Tokyo, Japan. He is the instrument designer and composer for two ensembles the ELECTRONICOS FANTASTICOS! and Open Reel Ensemble.
Open Reel Ensemble
Barcodes on board
The fans have had the blades replaced with patterned plates that activate hand held light sensors that translate the rotation of strobbing patterns into pitches.
A fan with the blades replaced with striped panels
Ei Wada makes a wide range of instruments from televisions. There are various categories of interactions with players that lead to distinctly different instruments.
Televisions where the action of touching the screens produces sounds from an amplifier attached to the players body that is picking up an electromagnetic arc.
Tapping or pounding on the television to make deep drum like percussive sounds that are generated from disturbing the regular behavior of the television.
Attaching a live 1/4“ input of an amplifier directly to the screen of a Television to make a wide array of sounds based off the electromagnetic pattern of the image displayed.
Using bar code readers or light sensors in a similar manner to his other instruments where they can read black and white patterns on the television screen and convert them to pitches.
Ei Wada uniquely takes advantage of the electromagnetic waves produced by the action of different flickering light patterns on the screens, when a television is generating an image on its screen it uses an electron stream that has the side effect of producing some electromagnetic waves that can be picked up on many kinds of music recording and playback equipment. By manipulating the kind of images displayed on a television screen the nature of the sound recorded can be changed. Using these methods he can generate complex sounds using only analog means.
There are various instruments made from tape reels that have loose tape that can be interacted with to make various sounds. The sounds produced are a mixture of the recorded sound on the tapes and the actions of the player.
I am a huge fan of Ei Wada, I have a hard time pinning down all of the stuff that he does, or even how to fully categorize his instruments. His interest and skill in pulling out the inherent sounds that of the appliances he is interested in is one of the main reasons I like what he does so much. I also really enjoy that he doesn't obfuscate what he is doing an any way, the materials and process are all very easily apparent, which i feel is rare for people working with electronics.
Ei has a notable presence on twitter 7)
Ei has a fantastic set of links to his various media (Twitter, Website and Facebook pages for each of his ensembles) on his CV page 8)