Tokyo Forum

Earlier today the weather was looking a bit sketchy – I had to vacate my hotel room by 11am but couldn’t move into my Air BnB apartment until 3pm so I left my bags at the hotel and figured I’d go recording…. Except the light rain put the brakes on that plan…

Being close to Tokyo station meant I was also close to Tokyo Forum – a building containing concert halls and conference rooms along with a truly epic enclosed space…. So I took respite here for half an hour, hoping the rain would disperse….

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The building is ingenuously designed in that there is a very gently sloping walkway, and after wandering up it for five minutes I was wondering why I was sweating so much… and then realised I had climbed a 7 story building without otherwise noticing!

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Along that walkway was a series of historical photos from when the building was opened…
and one caught my eye

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If I ever have to shoot a group photo I am going to insist on at least one take using this pose!
The photo is labelled ‘radio calisthetics’ but it might as well say ‘1980s music video’

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The acoustics in this space were so beautiful, completely diffuse and subdues by the volume of air and frequency roll off with distance… only the occasional sharp action actually triggered an overtly reverbant sound, everything else was subsumed by the sheer volume of oxygen….

Thankfully by the time I had regained consciousness the rain had disappeared & off to Ginza I wandered..

Ginza too

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Mother & daughter meet Mother & daughter?

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Recording in the street is (maybe?) a little like street photography – no one knows you are a photographer (or to what degree) until you start using your camera… But with sound there is no blending in, by the time I have my four microphones set up I am anything but as invisible as I would wish to be…

But I felt blessed today recording in such a busy location as the main street in Ginza and no one hassled me… Plenty of people gave me quizzical looks and one guy waving a selfy stick around asked if he could take my photo (no, ea, sumimasen….) but of the many hundreds who passed without saying a word I enjoyed engaging with Taku san who stopped and asked what I was doing….

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It is always a pleasure to share headphones with someone you don’t know, and who is interested… Similarly I was super interested in the gorgeous Hasselblad 500 (with digital back) he was shooting with, so when he asked to take my photo I agreed but only if I could take a photo of him, hence the photo above….

Arigatou Taku san

Check out his beautiful work here

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not very stealth… but sounds great with no traffic in Ginza on a Sunday!

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Tokyo Vertigo

Just got home from a fantastic guided recording/shooting session by Lukasz Palka of EyexploreTokyo
I had checked with him if I could do his Tokyo Vertigo tour but with an equal focus on sound and field recording… So tonight I met him at Ikebukuro Station and we spent the next 3 hours venturing to some great rooftop locations that he knew, recording ambiences in quad for ten minutes and then shooting some stills & video… Here is just a couple…

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Next Saturday I’m doing a second Tokyo Vertigo tour, but in different part of Tokyo…

Such a great experience, huge thanks to Lukas!

Arriving to Tokyo

I know all the cliches, about it being about “the journey” & not the destination…. but when the initial journey involves checking in at 6am with a hangover, the destination is the focus that makes the 12+ hours of cramped bored suffering on a plane worthwhile…

By the way, my hangover was partly due to hanging out with my dear friends ian & eddie in Auckland – check out Ians fridge, all the food groups covered here:

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It was a great relief to eventually arrive to Tokyo station and make my way to my favourite familiar LOHAS SUPER HOTEL! (you know its a favourite when you dont even have to tell your devices the wifi password, they have remembered it since last time!)

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And when I checked in I didn’t even need to ask – having ‘pre-ordered’ this lovely nondescript box was waiting for me:

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mmmmm….

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This trip to Japan (& especially Tokyo) is going to be busy!

Tomorrow is day 1 recording quad ambiences (8040 ORTF + 8020×2 spaced omni to SD788T) in Tokyo and for the last month or two I have been obsessively researching the aspects of Tokyo I am aiming to capture…

And along with sound recording, I also have a number of music projects planned while I am here….all part of some subconscious master plan that hasn’t been revealed to me yet… but this Make Noise 0 Coast is one small part in the puzzle…. more to come!

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While the sights and sounds are always welcome, I always also LOVE the olfactory response – leaving a chilly NZ peaking at about 10 degrees C yesterday, to arrive to Tokyo which was 29 degrees C at 6pm is like a great big warm hug…. but its only when you eventually get off the planes & trains and walk to your destination for the night/s that you get time to pause & fill your lungs… that sweet mysterious smell of a new adventure!

Here we go!