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Tashi Wada - What Is Not Strange?

Tashi Wada - What Is Not Strange?

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Preorder due for release 7th June

What Is Not Strange? is the first full-length album by Los Angeles-based composer Tashi Wada in over five years, comprising his most far-reaching and impassioned music to date. Written and recorded over a period that encompassed the death of his father and the birth of his daughter, the album sees Wada reflecting inward to explore broad narratives being alive, mortality, finding one’s place in the world—through new modes of ecstatic, song-based expression. While the denser forms, stark contrasts, and overt surreality may carry a different weight than Wada’s earlier work, which elicited perceptual effects with minimal means, the heart of What Is Not Strange? is still in experimentation and unforeseen outcomes.

Wada refers to What Is Not Strange? as dream music, inhabiting “emotional states that are difficult to pinpoint” and “shapeshifting from moment to moment.” The search for innate truths by way of experiential knowledge of the self was influenced by Wada’s immersion in the writings of the American Surrealist poet Philip Lamantia. In addition to titling the album after a poem by Lamantia, Wada was inspired by the visionary poet’s belief that the secrets of the world lie within us, as we are a reflection of that very same world. And yet a basic premise of the album is the underlying feeling that there is no “there” there. Even the ground under our feet is uncertain. This seeming interiority allows the ethos and music of What Is Not Strange? to defy easy categorization, unfurling like a vision of the past, present, and future.

Raised with a firsthand view of the enduring legacies of Minimalist music and the Fluxus art movement of which his father, Yoshi Wada, was a key figure, Wada moved through the academy and postaughts American underground as both an insider, due to his father’s storied contributions, and an outsider, as the son of two immigrants and as an Asian-American. On What Is Not Strange?, Wada recontextualizes this lineage, disregarding its presumed tenets and asserting a maximalist approach with larger, more complex arrangements, full of familiar and unusual details that form a mysterious whole.

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