Aki Onda — Voice Studies 17

Essentially, Aki Onda's addition to My Dance The Skull's Voice Study series is a collection of radio recordings he acquired while traveling. Using his Walkman, he found a station or combination of overlapping stations, then recorded them to cassette and thus compiled his favorite segments. There is a whole description of the process in the cassette liner notes which makes the recordings all the more interesting.

There is a humanity to these recordings. These are random moments captured unbeknownst to the speakers. Are they conversations? Are they advertisements? Is it political? I think what's interesting is that unless you speak the language playing at the moment, you can't really tell. And honestly for me, it doesn't matter. What I enjoy about it is becoming familiar with the characters to a degree. I find myself thinking, "Oh yeah I like this part" and I have my own (probably) incorrect translations. Maybe you do start to figure out what certain segments are about or what they are discussing. In that way, the tape becomes a lost archive and you are the anthropologist studying your finding for clues to a past civilization. 

There are moments of rhythm to certain segments. Others not so much. But that's not the goal here. This is in fact a voice study. Aki Onda even mentions in the liner notes that "if the key to this composition is to listen to voices divorced of meaning, then this may not be as effective to the multilinguist who can understand many languages at once."

This tape may not be for everyone but it's still advisable that you dive in & listen. It's art, bottom line. And art is more important than most things. At the moment, this cassette is still available through MDTS's site.

 
Aki Onda — Voice Studies 17  (My Dance The Skull)

Aki Onda — Voice Studies 17  (My Dance The Skull)