Swimming Under Water In Our Bodies (Sheltering in Epidermis)

The piece all started from contemplating the term “epidermal thinking”. It essentially implies the digitization of human body parts for a purpose of surveillance information. This concerns the ontological insecurity and epistemologies regarding the imposition of the race on the body and poses a question: what does it mean to genuinely be in possession of safety.

This work focuses on comparing the feeling of safety and the reality of safety through a perspective of the epidermis, our human skin, as an anatomical feature that divides our internal and external spheres. The element of water plays an important role in the piece to symbolize the duality in the feeling of safety and reality of safety for it being an external survival resource as well as an internal flow of life contained within our bodies.

Akari Komura is a Japanese composer-vocalist. She grew up in Tokyo until she was twelve, then moved abroad due to her parent’s work to spend her teenage-hood in Indonesia. This transition impacted her to develop a deeper connection to music and to communicate with others regardless of the language barrier. From an early age, Akari has been involved in performing arts through playing the piano, singing, and dancing modern ballet. Her interest in nature-based contemplative practices is central to her artistic belief where the sonic expressions are imagined to emerge as an embodiment of natural elements. Under the influence of Pauline Oliveros, Yoko Ono, and Hildegard Westerkamp, Akari explores to curate a ritualistic performance that invites both musicians and audience for a meditative and healing experience of mind and body.

Akari’s breadth of work spans chamber ensemble, multimedia/electronics, vocal music, and interdisciplinary collaborative works involving dancers, visual artists, and architects. Some of her works have been presented at Nief-Norf, Montreal Contemporary Music Lab, Composers Conference, Atlantic Music Festival, soundSCAPE, and Penn State New Music Festival. She also has been an artist-in-resident for the Socially Distant Art program and Kinds of Kings Bouman Fellow 2020-21.

She holds a M.M. in Composition from the University of Michigan (recipient of the EXCEL Enterprise Fund and Sonic Scenographies Research Grant) and a B.A. in Vocal Arts from the University of California, Irvine. Her major teachers include Evan Chambers, Roshanne Etezady, and Stephen Rush.

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