Performance: Aki Onda, Spirits Known and Unknown, featuring Eyvind Kang

September 29, 2023
5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Miller ICA: Carnegie Mellon University Purnell Center for the Arts 5000 Forbes Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Image courtesy of Miller ICA

Image courtesy of Miller ICA

Performance by Aki Onda, Spirits Known and Unknown, featuring Eyvind Kang. Miller ICA, 3rd floor.

Aki Onda’s Spirits Known and Unknown is a performance featuring various kinds of brass bells. It examines the materiality and spirituality of these objects and explores the uncanny and unknown.

Bells are a mysterious instrument. It is said that they were born when primitive people banged on resonant surfaces to frighten away evil. They have been used to call spirits in different cultures. They appear in church towers, symbols of peace, but have also been melted down and turned into bullets.

Onda remarks “Playing bells can be eerie at times. I get the sensation that ringing them connects me to their former owners who may have rung them. The actions recall lost sounds and sense histories that would otherwise be erased. It’s like collaborating with forces such as spirits and ancestors which transcends the sense of time and space experienced through multi-sensory channels.”

For this special occasion, Onda invited LA-based composer and multi-instrumentalist Eyvind Kang as a co-performer.

Aki Onda is an artist, composer, and curator currently based in Mito, Japan, after living in New York for two decades. Onda works are often catalyzed by and structured around memories—personal, collective, historical—such as his widely-known project, Cassette Memories (2004–ongoing), drawn from three decades of field recordings. Crossing genres, Onda has been active internationally in art, film, music and performance.

Eyvind Kang is a multi-instrumentalist, composer and arranger who works across genre and discipline, bringing subtlety, fluidity, and emotional intensity to each of his varied projects. Wary of the divisions of music by nation, Kang makes “people music” influenced by geology, collective memory and sonic possibility.