Stereoklang have repeatedly over the year’s written about and explored the sonic realms of music and the highly regarded techno and field recording artists KYOKA is no exception. KYOKA continues to find new means of expanding the horizons of music, both in terms the techniques and the sound generation as such, but also what actually defines music. In her latest project she literally takes us into her brain. KYOKA had her brainwaves measured at Tokyo and Berlin’s universities and used these to inform her newest composition.

As mentioned above Kyoka is renowned for her work on field recordings and Stereoklang spoke to her about this a couple of year’s ago. You can find the full interview here >>

In her latest work she is the subject of a new short film, exploring her creative process and upcoming live show New Music Syntax. Featuring excerpts from a talk and performance at Signals Festival 2022, held in October at Funkhaus Berlin, the clip is both insightful and atmospheric, diving into Kyoka’s unique artistry.

The short film, jointly produced by Catalyst Institute for Creative Arts and Technology, valcons production & Nadia Says at Your Mom’s Agency, showcases sound and footage of the test performance of Kyoka presents New Music Syntax.

“I am very much inspired by the systems or habits of the brain. I try to make my own brain-music syntax, which is almost like my own music language, and I assign it to my music composition after I check the brainwaves and analyze them as much as possible,” said the Japan-born sound artist in a discussion with Raw Chicks director Beate Kunath.

“This is actually the first time I have tried to understand how the audience’s emotion or chemistry in a real scientific theory based approach, like adrenaline or dopamine, is working. And I tried to assign that to my music,” she noted.

“I was always impressed by my surroundings. Even now, I always care about people’s reactions, and I try to be part of the group, I try to be in the same stream. But this is actually the first time I have tried to understand how the audience’s emotion or chemistry, like adrenaline or dopamine, is working. And I tried to assign that to my music.

Before I was running on intuition, like an animal, even without reason I could create music, and when I played a certain kind of sound people would react. This was my logic, but now I try to check why certain sounds catch people’s attention.

I tried other methods to experiment with my approach to composing music. My impulse as an experiment was to include a sense of heroism, and for this ceremony piece, the composition was created with a sense of slight discomfort thanks to interweaving harmonies.

If I keep the same simple melody, people recognize it, this music goes like tum, tum, tum… And suddenly, deviating from the tum, tum, tum, people feel “oh!” The reason we get this feeling is that the brain responds with stabilizing energy, but if suddenly the tum, tum, tum count changes, the brain sync thinks there is an error, and it goes to try and fix that error. And that’s why our attention gets pulled. So now I try to assign this system to my music.”

The show is due to be completed and debuted in full at Mutek Tokyo in December.