Originally from Hiroshima, Japan, Reiko Yamada is a composer and sound artist. Her works includes chamber, orchestral and electroacoustic music, sound art installations and interdisciplinary collaborations. In recent years, her work has centered on a research in the aesthetic concept of imperfection in a variety of contexts, all the while maintaining a constant concern for empathy and carefully honest representation of the human and geographical contexts from which she finds inspiration. Reiko is particularly interested in collaborations that use sound to provide alternative ways of accessing and understandings of the natural world.
Reiko holds a doctorate degree in composition from McGill University and has received numerous prestigious awards and fellowships, including a Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study fellowship (Harvard University, 2015-2016) and the Artist-in-Residency at the Institut für Elektronische Musik und Akustik (IEM, University of Performing Arts in Graz, Austria, 2016-2017).
During her block-long residency, Reiko worked with ten classes in a wide variety of departments, including Anthropology, Asian Studies, Art, Biology, Music, and Theatre/Dance. Class visits ranged from presentations on her own projects to critiques of students’ works, to in-depth, interdisciplinary projects. For example, Reiko worked with students in Songwriting (Music) and Contemporary Poetry (English) on a Block-long collaborative project, and also co-developed and implemented a workshop to translate data to sound within Advanced Genomics Laboratory, and upper-level biology class. Professor Sara Hanson commented: “I was very excited about bringing this opportunity to the students in my class. It provided the opportunity for them to think about and engage with their data in a completely new way. They got to be creative and have some fun with the data that they had worked so hard to generate and analyze during the block”.
A student in the collaborative Songwriting/Contemporary Poetry class wrote about their experience with Reiko, “Reiko was always insightful and ready to ask questions about our art, our process, and was so helpful in encouraging me to try new things. A truly wonderful person.”