The Squid's Ear Magazine

de Asis, Clara / Ryoko Akama: Sisbiosis (erstwhile)

Engrossing interactions of electronic sound, abstract percussion, static, metallic ringing and other ephemeral sonic assertions, from French-based Spanish sound artist Clara de Asís and UK-based Japanese-Korean installation & sound artist Ryoko Akama: three tracks of live electroacoustic improvisation, and three compositions extracted from those sessions.

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product information:

Label: erstwhile
Catalog ID: Erstwhile 094
Squidco Product Code: 32676

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2022
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack - 3 panel
Tracks 1 and 2 recorded in Leymen, France, in May, 2022.

Track 3, 4, 5 and 6 recorded in Leymen, France and Hofstetten-Fluh, Switzerland, in March 2022.

Mastered by Taku Unami.


Clara de Asis-electronics, percussion, field recordings

Ryoko Akama-amplified objects, field recordings

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Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"One of the Erstwhile label's specialties is commissioning encounters between singular sound-makers. Some, such as their splendid releases by the already-acquainted John Tilbury and Keith Rowe or Burkhard Stangl and Christof Kurzmann, proved so assuredly compatible that one had to wonder why no one had done so earlier. The outcomes of others, such as Rowe and Graham Lambkin or Jérôme Noetinger and Will Guthrie, were harder to predict, but the non-obviousness of each pairing paid off.   

This recording by Clara de Asís, a Spanish-born, French-based composer and multi-instrumentalist, and Ryoko Akama, a Japanese-born, English-based sound and installation artist, falls into the latter category. Each woman's discography is a feat of ongoing diversification. And acquaintance with their live performances might only highlights their differences. The one time I saw de Asís, she sat at a table, tweaking electronics and striking percussion with barely perceptible motions. But motion is the most vivid memory I have of my sole Akama concert; while it's hard to say what made her and her fellow performers' patient circuits of folding tables covered with thrift shop detritus so hypnotic, I couldn't take my eyes off of them, and I felt moved by the spectacle. What might they do together?

It turns out that only parts of the album involve joint action. Three of six tracks were made from sounds recorded by the duo, and then assembled and mixed by Akama. De Asís assembled one more from that collective sound trove, and made two more entirely on her own after their joint sessions, but it all hangs together. The two women share a respect for the integrity of small sounds, which they present in uncluttered assortments. One electronic wave might flow into another; two different varieties of metal percussion are struck at different rates; some crackling static sits in proximity to gentle, woody clatter within a vast field of silence. Things happen unemphatically, and if you're looking for excitement, sisbiosis will deny you. But if you're up for a close listen to the emergence and decay of sounds, presented with the transitory quality of drizzle falling upon a Zen garden, your patience will be rewarded by sound arrangements that feel complete in themselves. Another quality that Akama and de Asís share is a willingness to let sounds be themselves; they do not bully them into being music, but present them in a light that will allow you to appreciate their inherent musicality."-Bill Meyer, Dusted Magazine

Artist Biographies

"Clara de Asís (1988) is a Spanish composer and guitarist based in France. Her works involve electroacoustic, minimal approaches and studio composition. She uses different combinations of materials and sound sources, with a main focus on guitar. She has developed a non-conventional and personal instrumental approach; with longstanding interest in minimalist frameworks, spacial auscultation and simplicity.

Her music has been showcased on many international scenes, and she has collaborated with artists such as Laura Vazquez, Noël Akchoté, d'Incise, Golem Mécanique, Bruno Duplant, Nicolas Dick, Miguel A. García, Héctor Rey, Lauri Hyvärinen."

-Clara de Asis Website (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"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 (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Track Listing:

1. Destiny 14:03

2. Visitation 04:50

3. Stone Is Always There 05:54

4. Without Territory 09:02

5. Borders 08:25

6. Did You 06:43

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Electro-Acoustic Improv
Electronic Forms
Electroacoustic Composition
Field Recordings
Percussion & Drums
Duo Recordings
New in Improvised Music
New in Experimental & Electronic Music
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