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Lost City project started as a series of photographs shot by visual artist and composer Aki Onda in New York starting right after 9.11 in 2001. A decisively introspective response to the major world event taking place, his pictures were devoid of direct references, but documented his immediate surroundings, focusing on how what happened resonated on a personal micro-level.
Since 2005, Onda has been presenting this series as slide projections, which function as a visual score for improvisation, and performing with NYC avant-garde musicians Loren Connors and Alan Licht. Two improvisations on this LP were recorded at Anthology Film Archives in NYC in 2007.
Lost City contains the vinyl, a folded 20 x 30 inch poster with the complete photograph series and an A4 risoprinted booklet containing the accompanying text written by NYC based curator/writer Niels Van Tomme.
The record's A side is a duo piece between Connors and Licht that consists of wandering, buzzing guitar drones with occasional noisy eruptions. It highlights the almost twin-like connection between the longtime collaborators, with telepathic intersecting guitar lines and a sense of unease seeping through. The B side is Connors solo and is a very lyrical and atmospheric ambient piece that is equally sparse and spacious. The LP is limited to 350 copies and distributed by N.E.W.S.
The images were shot in New York between 2001 and 2002. It was during the time when we were still in shock from 9.11. The stars and stripes suddenly became visible everywhere in the city. Soon after, the invasion of Afghanistan started. Everybody was living under an indefinable fear - not knowing what would happen in the future. (Aki Onda).
Lost City began for Aki Onda in the wake of 9/11. A year or so earlier, the Japanese conceptual artist had relocated to New York and found himself cast in the emotional and physical wreckage of that profound act of terrorism. He began documenting everyday objects and events, framing his own life – as he has done through his numerous Fluxusinspired projects – in hope of liberating himself from the fear that came not only from the original attack but also from the jingoistic rhetoric uttered by US politicians across the spectrum. These images are relatively quotidian, documenting buildings, goldfish and people in intimate settings (some nude, some not) and purposefully avoiding any the physical scars from 9/11, with a sense of unease only visible in a few of those portraits. Since 2002, Onda has presented these images as a time-based piece through slide projection that also served as the graphical composition to be followed by the stalwart New York City guitarists Loren Connors and Alan Licht, whose gritty, avant bluesy figures colour the imagery with their own emotional heaviness of loss, fear, memory and sadness (The Wire)