Video Premiere: Erika Dohi Performs “Particle Of…” by Andy Akiho

Alter egos in blue and pink wigs, layered polyrhythms, and the muted plunks, gear-like clicks, and wooden knocks of a prepared piano provide a window into the possibility of a complex multiverse in Erika Dohi’s video for Particle Of… by composer Andy Akiho.

Particle Of… is one of 13 new works on Erika Dohi’s debut solo album, I, Castorpollux, which features contributions from Akiho, Channy Leaneagh (Poliça), Immanuel Wilkins, Ambrose Akinmusire, Jeremy Boettcher, Emily Wells, Zach Hanson, and William Brittelle.

The idea of the “split self” is central to the album and explores Dohi’s Japanese-American identity against the conservative environment of Texas where the album was conceived and written. The album title embodies this duality with a reference to the twin deities of Castor and Pollux, also known as the Dioscuri or the Gemini.

Erika Dohi--Photo by Shervin Lainez

Erika Dohi–Photo by Shervin Lainez

Here’s what Erika had to say about Particle Of…

Particle Of… is a composition for prepared piano and electronics, written for me by composer/steel-pannist, Andy Akiho. The tape part is a layer of prepared piano and synths played by me and manipulated in post-production. “Particle Of…” deals with quantum tunneling and the idea of the multiverse, and that fascinates me because it creates the possibility of a parallel universe and alternate realities. What if I did something differently in the past, are there different versions of myself, and does every choice I make create a new reality?

I, Castorpollux is out May 14, 2021 on 37d03d, the label founded by Justin Vernon, Aaron Dessner, and Bryce Dessner, and you can pre-order the album here.

About Erika Dohi

A member of Wadada Leo Smith’s Golden Quartet, Erika Dohi is the co-founder of BLUEPRINTS Piano Series and accompanying festival, In Visible Roads, in collaboration with Metropolis Ensemble, as well as RighteousGIRLS, whose album gathering blue has been hailed by Downbeat as “one of the most adventurous new music debut albums in recent years.”   Dohi has performed William Brittelle’s Spiritual America with Metropolis Ensemble, and David Bowie’s Blackstar in Central Park with Ensemble LPR and the Donny McCaslin Group, and has performed both solo and chamber works at festivals worldwide.

About Andy Akiho

Described as “trailblazing” (LA Times) and “an imaginative composer” (NY Times), Andy Akiho is a composer and performer of new music. His compositions have been featured on PBS’s “News Hour with Jim Lehrer” and by organizations such as Bang on a Can, American Composers Forum, The Intimacy of Creativity in Hong Kong, and the Heidelberg Festival. Akiho is also an active steel pannist and performs his compositions with various ensembles worldwide. Akiho’s recordings No One To Know One (innova Recordings) and The War Below (National Sawdust Tracks) feature brilliantly crafted compositions that pose intricate rhythms and exotic timbres inspired by his primary instrument, the steel pan. Akiho was born in 1979 in Columbia, SC, and is currently based in New York City and Portland, OR.


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