After receiving his bachelor’s in fine arts degree, he moved to New York in 1967. George Maciunas, widely credited as the founder of the Fluxus movement, lived in Mr. Wada’s building. Soon, Mr. Wada was enmeshed with Fluxus’s high-minded absurdism, making music from cardboard tubes and syncopated sneezes.
Mr. Maciunas had started purchasing abandoned buildings in the area of Manhattan that would become known as SoHo and converting them into artists’ co-ops, and he conscripted Mr. Wada to help with the carpentry and plumbing.
Never having trained in music formally, Mr. Wada took lessons in electronic music from the composer La Monte Young and became, in the early 1970s, a disciple of the guru Pandit Pran Nath, who taught North Indian classical singing in Mr. Young’s studio.