Believe

Shodoshima

Today was a great day!

I was in a ho hum sort of mood (aka hungover) but headed to Mito Peninsula & got some nice shots at a beach that I had previz’d…. & then met this fine gent. He showed me some beautiful photos he had taken using a telescope of the eclipse back in 2012, but the photo that caught my eye was the one he is holding, apparently shot in 2010 pretty much from the same spot where he is standing when I took this photo…. He gave me some great advice about local locations for shooting, all without him speaking english and me being a kindergarten grade Japanese speaker.

Do you believe?

shot on Mito Peninsula today 18th September 2013

Shodoshima

Following his advice I set two timelapses in motion (5D on the left and GoPro H3 on the right) and enjoyed not being able to do anything except be present for the next 2 hours…. When the sun actually crossed the horizon I expected some kind of sound (I know, lame huh?) but here is the funny thing, after waiting for over an hour, listening to the 5D go click every ten seconds.. sound was provided! This flock (murder?) of crows came out of nowhere & did a big circuit, out to sea a bit & then back in land…. perfectly timed for sunset, and surely not a coincidence!

Shodoshima

Did I record it? No….. but heres the thing: some moments aren’t created for you to record them. Some moments are created for you to experience them. As long as I live I will always remember finding the crows at sunset, after meeting the UFO guy, on the Mito peninsula.

A Beautiful Storm

The normal 25-30 degree heat was relieved over the weekend thanks to a typhoon passing through Japan – when it arrived the rain was heavy, but still warm, such that it almost reminded me of Samoa. But we woke to a second surprise this morning! Monday was a holiday in Japan and whether it was that or the weather I am not 100% sure, but the bay below my house was suddenly full of ships! As the wind & mists moved across the inland sea it was so beautiful to see our literal depth of field slowly changing! Such beautiful monochormatic visions made me want to listen to drones all day!

Shodoshima Artists Residency Week 1

Week 1 = 247GB of material captured & logged in Portfolio – mostly 1080p 24fps ProRes 422, along with some non-sync sound (monkeys, rain, insects/birds, beaches..)

Shooting with the 5DmkIII > Atomos Ninja 2 > smallHD monitor on iDC follow focus rig is starting to feel like second nature/ almost feels intuitive now! Didn’t quite realise how much I would need the monitor hood that comes with the smallHD monitor – shooting in bright daylight makes a naked LCD practically useless! (not news to anyone except me I’m sure!)

Totally love messing with/racking focus on the iDC rig, but with all the gadgets attached it sure makes me miss the simplicity of shooting photos with the bare 5D and Lee Filters… Just need to be clear about what elements I shooting for & set up the camera for it…

Two of the three projects I am going to finish while on this residency are well underway, and I have sorted most of the locations for the third project (it only requires a 1-2 day shoot) so all good – there are still plenty of mountains to be climbed (figuratively & literally) but the ideas/concepts & systems are all working – halleluJAH!

Meeting the mayor of Tonosho tomorrow (Tonosho is the town I am based in) so I have made a little 30 second compile of shots & just finished a mix of it, fueled by some excellent local sake – kampai!

Setouichi Triennale Shodoshima

Promoted as “An Art and Island Journey Through the Seasons on the Seto Inland Sea” the Setouichi Triennale is a beautifully inspired and inspiring Art Festival. And while the summer season of the Festival has finished and the official Autumn season hasn’t started (October 5th — November 4th) all of the works are still able to be viewed on the islands. So over the last week I’ve managed to visit a number of the sites and seen some incredibly beautiful work. I’ll post some photos etc below but if you live in Japan or are visiting, and have an interest in art then I couldn’t reccomend visiting the Setouichi Triennale more highly!

Setouichi 2013

The first work I saw was the day I arrived – THE STAR ANGER by Kenji Yanobe is installed on the wharf of Sakate Port, literally where I first set foot on Shodoshima.

Setouichi 2013

Setouichi 2013

Setouichi 2013

The second work I visited was a beautiful installation by artist Ryo Yamazaki in collaboration with Shodoshima towns people and studio L. Visually it was a feast for the eyes, a large scale installation filling one wall of a large gallery space with beautiful gradations in light….

Setouichi 2013

But it was only on closer inspection the genius of construction was revealed!

Setouichi 2013

Setouichi 2013

Amongst the documentation of the project were some great photos of the local people who must have spent many hours filling those tiny soy sauce bottles with the calibrated concentrations of soy sauce!

Setouichi 2013

Setouichi 2013

Setouichi 2013

The third was a very large scale land art work by Taiwanese artist Wang Wen Chih called THE LIGHT OF SHODOSHIMA

Setouichi 2013

The structure was beautifully constructed and it felt truly mind altering to be inside it, the diffuse fractured natural light is so beautiful but it also made me wonder what it would be like to be inside when its raining – imagine how complex the rain drips would be!!

Setouichi 2013

Setouichi 2013

Setouichi 2013

Setouichi 2013

At night the work is light with hundreds of LEDs so I will have to revisit it, but for now here is some silent video I shot during our daytime visit…

Shodoshima day one

Shodoshima

This was about 5.30am – my body still thinks it is in New Zealand so it easy to wake early (NZ time is three hours ahead of Japan) which is handy for shooting in the gorgeous dawn light!

 

Shodoshima

I walked around to the next beach, a little harbour with a sea wall… very intense light during the day!

 

Shodoshima

 

An unhinged stave and a single note, written in the sky?

Shodoshima

 

This afternoon I received access to the car I will use during the residency, a cute Nissan Cube – perfect for transporting camera & sound equipment etc… and with air conditioning it allows some repsite from midday 30 degree heat!

Shodoshima

Tomorrow will be doing a lot of driving as I recce the locations I have been stalking on google earth for months!

 

Shodoshima Artists Residency

Although my residency doesn’t officially start until Monday I was kindly allowed to arrive a day or two early, so I could get unpacked and set up my little studio etc… So I lugged my 77kg of baggage on the train to Kobe, and then caught the Jumbo ferry which makes for a lovely leisurely 3 hour trip, but it also gave us a chance to see Kobe port from the water!

Shodoshima

Along the way we passed under the massive bridge that connects the mainland with Awaji-shima, and I knew there was a building to keep an eye out for that was in close proximity to the bridge but I wasn’t quite sure where exactly.

Shodoshima

I love the 4×4 house designed by Tadao Ando and the day I win the lottery I will commission a copy of it!

Shodoshima

Shodoshima

As we crossed under the bridge we were really too far away to identify the house with the naked eye so I started taking photos, and then zooming the image on the display on my camera. And sure enough there it was (the house beside it is apparently an unofficial clone!)

Shodoshima

Also on the ferry was this great sculpture, which is part of the Setouichi Arts Festival, a festival that is spread across many of the islands of the Inland Sea.

Shodoshima

This work is by Kenji Yanobe

Shodoshima

And then finally, land ahoy!! The silhouette of Shodoshima appeared

Shodoshima

Shodoshima

The island has a population of 30,000 people – the images below are from a very handy iOS app called LightTrac, which displays the time and direction of sunrise (yellow line) and sunset (blue line)

Shodoshima

Shodoshima

The house I am staying in for the next six weeks is on an Olive Farm, and the view from the lounge/my studio is simply stunning!

Shodoshima

Watching the way the light shifts across the Seto Inland Sea is mesmerising!

Shodoshima

If you are interested to learn a bit more about the island of Shodoshima, here is a great little documentary I found online, explaining some of the history and local industries.

Detritus 270

(its an ‘all music’ detritus this time – love it or loathe it!)

“this limited Deepchord release comes in bespoke packaging and the first 100 are hand numbered and include a photograph from Rod Modell himself, a Deepchord totebag & T shirt, available exclusively from the Soma Web Shop. The DVD itself is a collection of Rod’s film work. A cerebral, art-house trip allowing the watcher to gain an insightful look into Deepchord, giving visual accompaniment to atmospheres created specifically for the DVD.”

Soma Records will release 20 Electrostatic Soundfields on September 30th, 2013

 


Tomoko Sauvage from her Ombrophilia album

 

 

 

Narcotic 303 from Second World album

 

> released today: Ryuichi Sakamoto + Taylor Deupree – Disappearance on 12k (digital available from boomkat)

I am also super keen to hear Moskitoos new album on 12k: Mitosis

 

Field Recording Competition – a question?

From my point of view the field recording competition was a lot of fun, so my question to you: would you be keen if I made it a monthly event? For example, each month I choose a prop (with your suggestions welcome) and anyone can submit a single field recording of it. Then at the end of each month I will choose say five favourite recordings & provide a HISSandaROAR library as a prize.

If enough people are keen I will start it as a monthly event, so please comment to encourage the idea (note new commenters your comment wont appear until I approve it the first time)

I think the constraints are valuable as a learning tool, and it is fascinating to hear what people manage to capture AND to read their thoughts on the process…

What do you think?

Field Recording – Pencil

Following up on the HISSandaROAR Field Recording Competition I asked the winners in each category to explain a little about their sound, what were they thinking??

OK what would you expect from a pencil? I thought this would be difficult, and its maybe not a coincidence that there is only one winner in this category. Others submitted what you might expect: scribbling, pencil being sharpened, being dropped and being snapped…. But this is genius!

 

 

MANUEL EISL – Pencil Thinks Its A Train

sound!

Manuel: “Honestly, I had no idea what I could possibly do with a pencil… so after I tried breaking one, which really didn’t sound very impressive, I started to use it the way it is intended to. I mic’ed it in a very close proximity, and just drew lines on a piece of paper – and it actually sounded quite interesting already!
This gave me motivation to try what else might be possible. I tried signatures, drawings, hatching, transitions / swooshes, … anything that came to mind really, and at some point while I was trying to make a hatching pass by, I realised that it kind of sounded like a steam-engine… So I did a few more takes, switched to circles instead of hatching, tried some movements and speed variations, and that’s pretty much it! None of the takes turned out to be ‘perfect’, so I decided to pick one that’s particularly wonky ;)

How many takes did you do to find it?

A lot!

What gear did you record it with? recorder? mic/s?

2x DPA 4060 (distance ~ 20 cm), recorded with a Sound Devices 702. ”

thanks Manuel!

 

Field Recording – Hands

Following up on the HISSandaROAR Field Recording Competition I asked the winners in each category to explain a little about their sound, what were they thinking??

OK what would you expect from a recording of your hands? Claps, snaps, knuckles…. Someone submitted the sound of ‘one hand clapping’ which they interpreted with a rather literal attempt at clapping with one hand – had they interpreted it poetically (it IS a Zen koan after all) I suspect they would have been on to a winner. I am not criticising their interpretation, exactly, but it was predictable, whereas these winners were anything but predictable!

 

 

GIORGIO FERRARI – Hands clapped under a car parking dome

sound!

 

 

JEFF CONARY – Hands nuckles rubbed together as motorcyle

How did you discover this particular sound?
Jeff: “I ran into the sound mostly by accident. I had originally just recorded several minutes of different hand sounds hoping that I would come across something that I really liked but, after listening back, there were only a couple of sounds that I didn’t think were terrible. There were a few that were very similar to helicopter-bys, but I didn’t think they were quite good enough as is, so I decided to re-record. After trying a couple of new takes, I noticed in one of them with a slower and more steady rhythm sounded a lot like a motorcycle engine and worked from there.

How many takes did you do to find it?
After deciding to go with the motorcycle sound, I did another 5 or 6 takes but ended up using the first one. Since I had been attempting similar sounds prior to that, my knuckles had already started to blister and I was getting progressively worse at getting the sound I wanted with each take.

What gear did you record it with? recorder? mic/s?
I recorded with a single MKH 8040 into a Sound Devices 722.”

 

 

JIM OLLIVIER-BERTHOU – Hands outside clap between two walls

sound!

Jim: “This is the terrace’s house of a friend in Brittany, beautiful country by the way. I discovered by coincidence this particular reverb with an object falling on floor. It was the first sound I recorded for this competition, the easiest one in my mind. I even try to make the others props in this particular place but the results weren’t so good. So for the hands, I made one take of 5 minutes with differents intensities and rhythms of clapping and I chose the one with the best reverb tail.
The mics (MS mics : Neumann 120 and 140) wasn’t exactly in the middle of the two walls. I thought that it was better not to be exactly in the middle to have more mess in the reverb tail. It was taken with a field mixer, the AETA 4minX, I love its preamps!