ARTIST: ALAN NAKAGAWA
Experimental sounds from some of the most iconic and eclectic sites in the world.
"With a support group of faculty and students from the University of Barcelona's Sound Arts Masters Program and some local artists, I was given permission to conduct field recordings inside the Antoni Gaudí masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia. Although we had planned the session a year in advance, final permission was not granted until the final Friday of my six week residency in Barcelona. We were given permission that Tuesday for that Friday, two days before I was to return back to the US. The mood was jubilant and stressful as we all knew that not only was this unprecedented, but that we would only have one shot at it."
Alan Nakagawa is a sound and interdisciplinary artist based in Los Angeles, CA. Interested in the tactility of sound, audio memory and the history of hearing, he has invented a series of participatory sculpture projects that focus on how we hear, how sound frequencies help define architecture and how auditory technology has played a role in defining our history. He has also incorporated his skills in oral history and field recording into his art practice, using stories and environmental sounds into sound installations and new media projects. He has recorded at some of the most iconic and eclectic sites in the world, including La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain, the Watts Towers in Los Angeles and soon the Atomic Dome in Hiroshima, Japan.
His career is equally interesting having worked as an arts administrator for Metro Art, the public art program for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority for almost 25 years, as well as co-founding the arts collective Collage Ensemble and producing and curating the Ear Meal Webcast, a six-year project that documents the Los Angeles Experimental Music and Sound Art community. In the summer of 2015 his love for sound led him to be invited to research the history of the hearing aid at the Smithsonian Museum of American History.
Nakagawa is currently in residence at the Getty Villa, and is working on a large scale sound work with the Atomic Dome/ City of Hiroshima and the Center for Land Use Interpretation. Read on to hear more about what makes him tick—and clack and hum and ping!
MOST KNOWN FOR:
Very noisy art
"While having the honor of spending the summer of 2015 at the MacDowell Art Colony in Peterborough New Hampshire, I couldn't help but do a short piece regarding the Peterborough Basket Companywww.peterborobasket.com . They create the basket, in this turn of the century type of way that uses machinery and techniques from the past, by hand, everyday. Such baskets are used daily at MacDowell. Each lunch time, lunch baskets filled with delicious meals are delivered to each artist studio. It's incredible. The sound you hear in this piece are all from the making of such baskets."
HOW DO YOU TAKE YOUR COFFEE?
NAME SOMETHING YOU LOVE
Love riding my bike because it’s just the right speed to get from point A to B, yet enjoy the environment between A and B.
WHAT IS KEY TO YOUR PROCESS?
Listening and expressing within my true voice.
"This is a short documentary of my contribution to the Little Tokyo Utility Box Project in Los Angeles CA. This was made possible by the Little Tokyo Service Center and the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center. There were many more artists participating throughout Little Tokyo too."
WHAT ARE YOUR DREAM PROJECTS?
To compose for bats and porpoises. To do a project with one of the Great Pacific Garbage Patches.
Earmeal Webcast, Season 7: Jimena Sarno, March 2016.
WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO LIVE?
I have a large 1913 house and am developing a butterfly sanctuary, so I’m living where I want to live.
Omayumi, Steven M Irvin and Alan Nakagawa team up with Integratron staff Drayton Stephenson on March 10, 2011 to perform a private concert in the world famous perfect wood dome in Joshua Tree, California.
ON YOUR DEATHBED, LAST MEAL IN LA?
Capitol Burger cheeseburger with chili fries and a chocolate shake. Nakagawa has been studying and using elements of scientist Royal Rife's experiments utilizing frequencies to allegedly destroy pathogens. ROYAL PAIN 3.0 is an original sound and video work that juxtaposes images and sounds from Rife's studies and examines the tactile relationship of frequencies and dreams.
WHERE CAN WE FIND YOUR WORK?