When Ei Wada comes across a pile of discarded electronic equipment, he sees not a pile of trash but instead a bunch of musical instruments.
For the last seven years, the Japanese experimental musician has been gathering together all manner of e-waste, using anything he can lay his hands on to create beautiful music – or not, depending on your taste.
At a recent festival in Ibaraki just north of Tokyo, Wada, performing with his wonderfully named Braun Tube Jazz Band, used a bunch of ancient cathode-ray tube TVs – and a bit of technical jiggery-pokery – to knock out some fancy tunes using the televisions as bongo drums.
Proving he’s not a one-instrument wonder, and showcasing his ability to create an instrument out of virtually any household appliance known to man, 29-year-old Wada then picks up an electric fan for another spacey track.
According to his website, Wada kicked off his unusual career with the creation of the Open Reel Ensemble, a group that manipulates and plays reel-to-reel audio recorders.
The group sounds pretty busy, performing live shows, creating art installations, and providing music for movies and catwalk shows.
His unique talent has even been spotted by legendary Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake, who in recent years has used his music at multiple fashion events in Paris.
Wada’s latest project is called “Electronicos Fantasticos!”, which apparently involves building “humongous radio wave towers.”
“All these tech objects are a symbol of Japan’s economic growth, but they also get thrown away in great numbers,” Wada told Motherboard in an interview earlier this year. “It’s good to not just say ‘bye’ to things that are thrown away but to instill old things with new meaning, and celebrate their unique points.”