About This Issue

From Our Guest Editors

Networks of Listening


This issue of Sound American, co-curated by three collaborators from across the globe, Ryoko Akama, Heather Frasch, and Audra Wolowiec, introduces a series of interviews that contain intimate conversations, acts of listening and new compositions in the realm of sound-poetry.


Ryoko Akama and Heather Frasch co-edit the independent publication mumei, that seeks to promote experimentation between disciplines of music, art and performance. Focusing directly on the relationships between text and sound, it presents artists and musicians whose work are not necessarily defined as one traditional category but who continue to explore new possibilities in the act of listening. They featured a series of sound scores by Audra Wolowiec in issue FOUR and asked her to curate issue FIVE, focusing on artists and poets whose works are deeply rooted in the visual nature of where sound and text converge.

As they each continue to focus on these intersections, pushing past the limitations of categories, dissolving and re-defining the spaces in between, the forms begin to blend and shift easily into other established practices. They meet within distinctive boundaries and continue their investigations by inviting conversations that attempt to reveal rich middle grounds.


In this issue, Ryoko Akama rehearsed with and interviewed Taku Sugimoto and Suidobashi Chamber Ensemble (Yoko Ikeda, Wakana Ikeda, Aya Ohashi, Taku Sugimoto), speaking candidly about how their approaches to music and the Japanese experimental music scene. Heather Frasch collaborated with Berlin-based musicians Joseph Kudirka and Koen Nutters to map investigations between listening, reading and memory. Audra Wolowiec invited artist Sal Randolph and poet Karen Weiser, both based in New York City, to create new text-based works in response to specific sound compositions.


An enormous thanks to Nate Wooley for his creative efforts and the invitation to co-create Sound American Issue 17, bringing together these diverse yet distinct voices. Readers are invited to explore our collaborative interpretation alongside the vision of all the artists involved.


— Ryoko Akama, Heather Frasch, Audra Wolowiec