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Reiko Yamada

composer & sound artist

Broken Accordion Project (2013-2017)

In a more direct interpretation of the concept of imperfection, I ​have been working with a number of antique accordions, composing concert and audiovisual works for each instrument featuring  the unique ways in which each one is damaged.

The first piece in the series was premiered in March 2014 in Water Valley, Mississippi, where these instruments were found. Since then, I have performed with them and given a workshop at Cluster Festival (2016, Manitoba, Canada), at the Carpenter Center (2016, Cambridge, MA) and in Rio De Janeiro (as part of a collaborative dance film on writer Clarice Lispector). The project is also featured in a short documentary film entitled "85% Broken" (Blue Magnolia Film, 2015).

Resurrection (2014)

images by Carolyn Drake and Andres Gonzales

Reiko Yamada, accordion (Sennheiser MKE 600 mic)

live performance at Bozartz Gallery, Water Valley, MS

85% Broken (2015)


(description written by Blue Magnolia Films)

"The short film by Alison Fast and Chandler Griffin presents the creative process through which Japanese-born composer and sound artist Reiko Yamada gave a new life to broken accordions, bringing together, along the way, a diverse group of people from the small town of Water Valley."

Sample tracks from a work-in-progress album using broken accordions and analog synthesizer (3'00")​

Past show:

October 21, 8pm EST (online) at Japan Society of New York

Reiko Yamada: Sound Installation on Silent Movies

Composer and high-tech sound artist Reiko Yamada (2015-16 Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and the 2016-17 artist-in-residence at IEM in Austria) uses the latest technologies in electronic and acoustic music "installation" to bridge the gap between time and space. For this commission, Yamada will perform on old, broken accordions, transforming their sounds with her novel ways of audio processing to accompany Japanese silent films from the early 20th century. She will redefine the concept of “pastimes” in her avant-garde scores set to antiquated images of sumo matches, train travel and animations.

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