Synthtopia

Making Music + Art From Old Appliances, With Ei Wada

Reader Anne Ferrero shared a new documentary, embedded above, that features Japanese musician and artist Ei Wada.

Ei Wada’s instruments range from open reel tape decks to old appliances, like electric fans or CRT television. He thinks about his process as way to give a new voice to the souls of machines abandoned by people.

The documentary is in Japanese, with English and French subtitles.

The video is the latest in Ferrero’s toco toco documentary series, which features Japanese artists and creators. 

Video Summary:

In this episode, we follow Ei Wada, a young artist evolving in Tokyo, whose universe revolves between music and contemporary art. The instruments he uses for his compositions vary between open reel recorders and all types of old appliances, such as electric fans or televisions. Wada performs in a band named “Open Reel Ensemble”, and also works on various solo projects such as “Electronicos Fantasticos!”, he is also in charge of music for the shows of world-renown brand Issey Miyake during the Paris Fashion Week.

We will follow him in the Sumida district, located in Eastern Tokyo, where Wada has an atelier for one of his projects. Our first stop will be at Retro Enterprises, an old camera shop, which is also the only place in Asia where one can develop 8mm film, Wada often goes there to find inspiration and learn the staff’s techniques to preserve old media.

We will then head towards the Yoshinari steel factory, a local workshop that specializes in a specific type of part for daily-use objects, before heading over Topping East, where Wada does part of his work. He will share more about his universe, his inspirations and his motivations behind giving a new life to appliances that have become obsolete with time.