Kenta Tanaka

He was born in Tokyo in 1993. Guitarist, sound artist, and urban composer.

His work attempts to explore the possibilities of urban-themed compositions under the word “Urban Composition” by applying urban theories and phenomena in the fields of sound arts and experimental music. Recent works include Fictional Soundscapes (2021) for Encounter in Resonance at KIOSK Zwarte Zaal, and Algorithmic Urban Composition (2019) for Linux Audio Conference at Listening Room CCRMA Stanford – the United States. As a solo exhibition, he held Urban Reminiscence—Sound, Object, and Rhythm (2020), a sound installation recomposing memories of the city, at Sta., Tokyo. In 2021, He stayed as a long-term resident artist for the program Unraveling Time at PARADISE AIR in Matsudo, Chiba.

To explore the sonic possibilities of phenomenological/reminiscent aspects, he collects various soundscapes through field recording and composes them with ambient guitar as sound compositions. He released a collaborative cassette album Possibility To See You Again(2019) from Shiny Brand Records with guitarist Riki Hidaka. Since 2018, he has participated as a guitarist/sound programmer in Shuta Hasunuma Full Philharmonic Orchestra consisting of 26 members from different music backgrounds. The orchestra released their album FULLPHONY (2020) from Caroline International (S&D).

Furthermore, he, as an editor/designer, published music critique zines, jingle. Curated the music scene in Tokyo, he released jingle 001 (2015). As a second issue, he launched jingle 002 (2021) under the theme of the environment surrounding music in New York. Currently, he is planning to create the third issue jingle 003 featuring Europe's sound art scene.

He studied sound arts and design research and obtained a Master's Degree from the x-Design Program at the Graduate School of Media Governance, Keio University. After that, he engaged in researching the relationships between sound and urban spaces and completed his postgraduate certificate in European Postgraduate in Arts in Sound (EPAS) in 2020.


Cities and Music

Have a listen to a city. Does it sound like just noise, sounds, or music?

Listening to the city is to listen to a part of the total direct and conceptual experience of the people and things involved in the city.

Placing some sound in the city is to integrate it into everyday space as a subtle intervention in the city. It is to leave in the city an indeterminate promise that may or may not be heard.

The music of the city has no real entity, it is the sum of the sounds that we hear as we walk through the city, the memories and sound images that our sensory organs unconsciously recall, and the relationships between all of these that make up the music of the city.

Just as the experience of the city is subjective, the experience of sound differs from person to person and is also context-dependent. Depending on the context in which one listens, sound can have very different effects on people.

The city itself is ever-generating environmental music.

The city and music are two complex systems of the same nature, and just as one city dweller can't understand everything about the city, one listener can't hear everything about the city at once. Both the city and the music are experienced very differently depending on the context in which they are experienced. As the subject and the object of the experience change, the city and the music are reborn each time.

8. Try to parallel the sounds of several cities. The rhythms of each are intertwined. Sometimes they resonate, and sometimes they are dissonant. The noise becomes a sound, accidental music. And then back to noise again. The city is always looking for the moment to become music.

Kenta Tanaka
July 4th, 2020, First Edition