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Tashi Wada

Los Angeles-based musician Tashi Wada works within a heady, intergenerational slipstream bridging storied East and West Coast art music institutions, and the DIY experimental scenes that emerged in the 2000s and 2010s. Between recording and performing with his creative and life partner, Julia Holter, and running his record label Saltern, Wada has carved a unique path as a forward-thinking composer alongside a tight network of collaborators, drawing on diverse influences and exchanges. Wada’s new album for RVNG Intl., What Is Not Strange?, strips away preconceptions of the scope of his music, presenting complex, pop-informed compositions that bristle with joy.

Wada was born into an artist’s life, raised in a SoHo loft by his father, Yoshi Wada, a key figure in the Fluxus art and Minimalist music movements, and his mother, Marilyn Bogerd, a Belgian émigré deeply involved with the visual arts. Wada’s upbringing and decade-long collaboration with his father played an important role in shaping his musical path and overall sensibility, instilling an appreciation for the hard-fought advances of previous generations of avant-garde composers. Wada, who initially moved to Los Angeles to study at CalArts with composer James Tenney, has worked closely with an array of trailblazers, including the dancer and artist Simone Forti, and the cellist Charles Curtis, whose works have been lovingly presented to new audiences via Wada’s label.

Wada’s early releases, meanwhile, for underground labels like De Stijl and Yik Yak, dwelled in the sphere of eternal music inhabited by his father and his cohort (La Monte Young, Terry Riley, Éliane Radigue). This perceptually-based sensibility would eventually coincide with experimental pop and spiritual jazz traditions through Wada’s ongoing collaboration with Julia Holter, with whom he’s performed live since 2016. Wada debuted on RVNG in 2018 with Nue, a full-length album of magisterial drones recorded alongside his father for the label’s FRKWYS series.  That same year, Wada contributed to Holter’s landmark song cycle, Aviary, and more recently and significantly, to her 2024 album Something in the Room She Moves.

Extensive touring, commissions, and collaborations followed Nue. Then came an unexpected and transformative cycle of life changes. Written over a period that encompassed the death of his father and the birth of his daughter with Holter, What Is Not Strange? sees Wada reflecting inward to explore broad narratives through new modes of ecstatic, song-based expression. Recorded simultaneously with Holter’s Something in the Room She Moves, the partners contributed to each other’s albums, weaving newfound musical thoughts and impulses into entwined musical visions. In 2023, Wada embarked on a composer fellowship in Berlin, completing What Is Not Strange? in the process, his first album in five years.


Saturday June 08 2024
2220 Arts + Archives, Los Angeles, CA, United States
Saturday September 14 2024
Solar Myth, Philadelphia, PA, United States
Saturday October 05 2024
The Lab, San Francisco, CA, United States