Think of the everyday as if presented as memory — haunted nighttime cityscapes, tender female skin, brightly hued fish — fused with tension and sensitivity, only to flash by in blurred glimpses that leave you clinging. It's that precise moment where melancholy rises out of something seen, heard or felt. That's what Cinemage: A Thousand Lights and Nights & Hidden Place for Birds is like. It's an audiovisual presentation from composer, photographer and multimedia artist Aki Onda, with guitar accompaniment by musician Loren Connors.
Connors soundtracks Onda's slide show with sure-handed grace; his spare guitar notes and sustains turn ambient, the "air" in the music is its own instrument, the space in it breathes, assigns extra weight or lightness to the images. (Eno would love Connors. It's no surprise that musical fringe-masters Jim O'Rourke, Lee Ranaldo, Thurston Moore and Jandek have all collaborated with him.) The guitarist has released dozens and dozens of albums since the late '70s.
Onda has released more than a dozen solo and collaborative recordings on Japanese, European and American labels. The slides in Cinemage are photos from Onda's life.
The slideshow and music in Cinemage work in tandem, summoning sadness and joy out of night and day, languid and brooding, like waking from a memorable dream. —Brian Smith
Loren Connors and Aki Onda perform at 8:00 p.m. at the Detroit Film Center, 1347 E. Fisher Fwy (Eastern Market). Call 313-961-9936 or see detroitfilm.org.