The Squid's Ear Magazine

Frasch, Heather / Ryoko Akama: Linking (Ftarri / Meenna)

US sound artists Heather Frasch and UK Ryoko Akama, who together run the mumei journal exploring the relationship between text and sound, in works commissioned by Bruno Duplant based on written texts, each interpreted, recorded and edited by the other using objects, field recordings, electronics, cello & voice, with one piece from Frasch and two versions from Akama.

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product information:

Label: Ftarri / Meenna
Catalog ID: meenna-972
Squidco Product Code: 30198

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2020
Country: Japan
Packaging: Cardstock Sleeve, sealed
Track 1 and 3 recorded in Almondbury, United Kingdom.

Track 2 recorded in Charlottesville, Virgina.


Ryoko Akama-organ, objects, composer

Heather Frasch-field recordings, objects, electronics, composer

Brice Catherin-cello, objects

Eleanor Cully-voice, objects

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Sample The Album:

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Heather Frasch is a composer/musician living in the U.S. city of Charlottesville, Virginia. Ryoko Akama is a composer/musician living in Huddersfield, UK. Together they run Mumei Publishing, which issues mumei, a journal exploring the relationship between text and sound. French musician Bruno Duplant asked Frasch and Akama to create a CD, and the result was this three-track album. (Duplant served as producer throughout the project, but was not involved in the compositions or performances.)

In 2018, Frasch and Akama each composed a work using a written text; then they exchanged the compositions and recorded them separately. Akama's composition "For Heather's Day" was recorded and edited in several sessions by Frasch using field recordings, objects and electronics to create a work of 40 minutes in length. Frasch's composition "A Moment in My Day" was recorded by Akama with invited musicians Brice Catherin (cello, objects) and Eleanor Cully (voice, objects) as well as her own sounds (organ, objects), resulting in the creation of four different takes. Takes 1 and 3 (each about 20 minutes) are heard on this album.

On this superb CD, composer/performers Frasch and Akama draw out all the distinctiveness of text scores, both in their compositions and in their interpretation/realization of the works."-Meena

This album has been reviewed on our magazine:

The Squid
The Squid's Ear!

Artist Biographies

"Ryoko Akama was born in 1976 in Japan, and currently lives in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom. She is a member of The Lappetites, Rolex2$, Syth;s. She is a sound artist/composer/performer, who approaches listening situations that magnify silence, time and space and offer quiet temporal/spatial experiences. Her sound works are connected to literature, fine art and technology, and employ small and fragile objects such as paper balloons and glass bottles, creating tiny occurrences that embody 'almost nothing' aesthetics. She composes text events and performs a diversity of alternative scores in collaboration with international artists. Her works and projects have been funded by Arts Council England, Japan Society, Daiwa-Anglo Foundation, University of Huddersfield, Kirklees Council, Pro Helvetia and more.

She is also active as a curator: collaborates with festivals, runs melange edition label and co-edits reductive journal/mumei publishing."

-Vimeo (

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"Heather Frasch, is a composer of acoustic and electroacoustic concert music, performer/composer (flute, laptop/electronics & sonic objects), and creator of interactive sound installations and digital instruments. Through the creation of complex timbres, the usage of unstable notation systems, and electronics her work explores notions of fragility and stillness within an intermedia sonic arts practice. Influenced by the dis-embodiment of acousmatic music practices, she investigates the re-embodiment of sound and the intimacy between humans and their technological objects.

She is interested in asking questions and finding the unexpected through a creative practice. By using different mediums, she is able to look at her investigations through various lenses. She is excited when previous notions are challenged and broken, making room for new ideas to emerge.

She co-edits mumei publishing which publishes online journals and monographs that concern text-sound perceptions. She is co-director of vibrant matter, who curate events, investigating the blurred boundaries between text/object and sound. Both projects champion experimental interdisciplinary programming, commissioning new works to support underrepresented voices.

She holds a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley and further degrees from IRCAM, CNR de Lyon, and Temple University. Frasch was composer-in-residence at the IEM (Institüt für Musik und Akustik) in Graz, Austria (2015) and at the Villa Ruffieux, in Sierre, Switzerland (2017). Other honors include: artist residency at the EMS in Stockholm (2014), the George Ladd Prix de Paris in Composition (2008), International Sergei Slonimsky Composition Competition Prize (2012), and the Nicol DeLorernzo Prize in Composition (2010 and 2008). She has performed and had her work performed at: the Kilkenny Arts Festival, CTM Festival, UdK de Reihe Series, Unfinished Descritpions Exhibition, Moscow Autumn Festival, San Francisco Tape Festival, NYCEMF, Mixtur Festival, hcmf//, Akademie Schloss Solitude; and by the Ensemble SurPlus, Ensemble, Ossia New Music Ensemble, Quiet Music Ensemble, sfSound, Vertixe Sonora, Adapter Ensemble, BCMP, DNK Ensemble among others. Her work has been supported by: Musikfonds e. V., Initiative Neue Musik Berlin and Kulturförderung des Goethe-Instituts. She was a Visiting Assistant Professor at The University of Virginia in the department of Composition and Computer Technologies (2018-2020). Born in Philadelphia, she was a music tutor of electronic music at the Catalyst Institute for Creative Arts & Technology in Berlin (2021) and will be Associate Professor of Music Technology at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology NTNU (Fall 2021 )"

-Heather Frasch Website (

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"Brice Catherin (born 16 October 1981 in Brussels, Belgium) is a French composer and cellist.

Brice Catherin studied the cello at the Haute Ecole de Musique de Lausanne (Switzerland) with professor Marc Jaermann (cellist of the sine nomine quartet) where he successfully completed his diploma in 2004. At the same time, he was studying composition at the Haute École de Musique of Geneva (Switzerland) with professors Michael Jarrell, Luis Naón and Éric Daubresse. He received his diploma in 2005. The following year he studied at the Basel Musikhochschule with professor Roland Moser.

During this period, Brice Catherin gave a few hundred concerts and performances as a cellist, a composer, an improviser, and a performance artist in Europe, Japan, Russia, Iceland and Canada as an independent artist. He composed about 80 works for soloists to big ensembles, from 10 minutes to 10 hours. He premièred a few works he commissioned for solo cello or chamber ensembles to composers such as Dror Feiler, Christian Rosset, Evis Sammoutis, Patricia Bosshard, Baudoin de Jaer, Abby Swidler, Jacques Demierre, Arash Yazdani and Ludovic Thirvaudey.

He worked with artists from various backgrounds: dancers (Foofwa d'Imobilité, Corina Pia, Judith Desse...), writers (Karelle Ménine, Cléa Chopard...), actors (Delphine Rosay...), and after works of movie directors (David Bestue and Marc Vives, David OReilly (artist)...) and illustrators (Yuichi Yokoyama...)

As a composer, Brice Catherin wrote more than 80 instrumental works with or without electronic.

As an improviser, he is known for engineering the concept of "improvisation laboratories", which refers to performances of constrained improvisations. The constraints can be as different as "playing an instrument you don't know", "playing a building", "improvise music for a cartoon", "improvisation of characters", or "mixing baroque music and free improvisation". "

-Wikipedia (

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"I make works with images, extracts of melodies, texts and imagined sounds. I like to work on a whim; embracing connections and ideas that come from misheard sentences, descriptions on the radio, singing unclear and troubled words. I embed these encounters into pieces, titles or notes about a work. I live in Huddersfield and teach in a few schools across Kirklees, driving around the countryside in between."

-Eleanor Cully Website (

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Track Listing:

1. A Moment in My Day (Take 1) 17:30

2. For Heather's Day 40:50

3. A Moment in My Day (take 3) 21:30

Related Categories of Interest:

Electroacoustic Composition
Compositional Forms
Field Recordings
Objects and Home-made Instruments
Unusual Vocal Forms
Trio Recordings
New in Experimental & Electronic Music

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Ftarri / Meenna.

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