My first time


Had my first ever experience creating & mixing music for Dolby Atmos today – with huge thanks to KT san & his beautiful sounding beBlue Studio in Tokyo for mentoring me. The music cue I was prototyping contained elements some of which were only hours old, others were also very recent like that Steinway piano I recorded earlier this week, but the initial seeds – visual & music/sound – were many months old…


mind = blown


prototype approved, on to next iterations!


Heard some beautiful sparse music in cafe yesterday so I went & asked what it was:


Rei Harakami

bandcamp link: here

Rainbow Bridge recording

After Miraikan I caught the monorail back to the last stop before the large ‘Rainbow Bridge’ to Tokyo as I had read you can walk or cycle across it, and I figured the view must be impressive…. but it was also a good chance for some dense traffic recording…

Perspective 1 – luckily the sea was very calm and almost glassy – couldn’t hear any waterlap at all, just the diffuse roar of bridge traffic


Perspective 2 – I figured capturing close up traffic wasn’t going to be an issue, so I deliberately looked for opportunities to record perspectives with some distance or non-direct sound…


Perspective 3

Perspective 4 – this was unexpected, near the mid point some work was being done on the bridge and for only 20m or so the path went indoors… which was a great chance to capture an interior perspective of the traffic roaring past…


Perspective 5 – close & loud, right by a join in the bridge


Perspective 6

And wow the view!! I find it a little freaky being so high up… If I can make time I will come back here at night – the view then must be astonishing!!

This surreal green island is accessible from the Odaiba side






Yesterday was 30 degrees, so you can imagine how hot & sweaty it was trudging all the way across the bridge carrying Sound Devices 788T and four mics and stands… A beer tasted very good after this mission!

Odaiba Long Exposures



shot with Sony a6300 + Zeiss 16-70 VarioTessar lens + Lee Big Stopper

Miraikan & Robots


I caught the monorail to Odaiba yesterday and visited Miraikan – the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, as I had read about one of their exhibitions: Android: What is Human? and was interested to see how close to the uncanny valley such tech is getting….

For anyone visiting Tokyo with children I think Miraikan should be on the ‘must-do’ list – it is a very impressive building with beautifully implemented exhbitions…




I know this feeling!


The first robot I saw, when entering the third floor exhibition space was this one:


Yes, deeply disturbing.. especially as it had very complex but subtle facial expressions….

Alongside it was this female kimono-clad robot:


One of the staff asked if I would like to have my photo taken sitting beside her, but I declined… so he then disappeared into a nearby booth and fembot switched from passive mode to more social engagement. Through a small speaker she/the staff member would announce expressions: ‘now I am happy, see!’ which was kind of cute, but when they announced ‘and now I am angry’ I started to worry about what this robot might be thinking…


These robots were a little less worrisome:


In fact they were very cute, and were designed for speaking – whenever they spoke their mouth would glow red in time with the speech, but in a very nice touch if the left robot spoke, the right robot would turn to look at it… This was especially effective in an interactive exhibit with three of these bots, where they would hold a conversation discussing the use of robots in nursing care and occasionally would ask for your input (via a nearby microphone)

Then it was time for the star of the show to appear:


Asimo appeared from behind a glass sliding door, and in a clever gesture of theatrics at first its movements were slow & very robotic like, just for the first 30 seconds, and then it proceed to run, quite fast out into the exhibition space, and sort of dance around – the crowd of kids & adults roared with laughter & cheered – it was hilarious!! And call me stupid but I only just twigged to the name of Asimo being Asimov with the last character deleted…

Of course I shot a ton of video of all of these robots, and thought I might make a little music vid with them…. but especially the talking bots got me thinking about revoicing them with some existential or nihilistic dialogue…

I think we are safe from the uncanny valley for a while yet…. but seeing small kids interacting with the robots did make me think that might change in their lifetime, but probably not in mine…

Angular Bokeh


shot with Sony a6300 and Zeiss 16-70 VarioTessar lens



news on Friday I believe!



Warhol x Murikami x Uncle Boonme x Tarantino x ?

spotted in Shinjuku

Tuesday = sugoi!

How much fun can you fit into one day? I’m not sure but I think I maxed out today…. Started off waking to heavy rain, which in NZ would likely be bleak but in Japan in summer it was still 28 degrees… Had my first Uber experience – had to run a block to find him after he stopped getting closer, (also had to pay 1.8x rate due to demand) but all good from there…. Next stop:


I found Symphony Salon online as I was keen to pursue my theory about how travel affects the pysche, by renting a grand piano for a few hours & seeing what would happen…. Lovely people there gave me the keys to one of their piano rehearsal/concert rooms with a 1985 Steinway grand piano at very reasonable rates…


So I arrived, set up quad recording rig and improvised for the first half hour… just getting used to however I was feeling and how the piano was sounding. Then plugged in my iPod with a few guide audio cues into channel 5 of my 788T and set about kind-of overdubbing to some music I have in slow development… Then switched to metronome app and improvised to a few different tempos, recording the click to ch 5 again….

A thoroughly enjoyable & maybe even productive two hours!


I have another two session booked for Friday, as figured I needed to try it out, see what happens & then have some time to listen & play around with the results…. and then iterate it…

Finish the session, pack up & meet a friend at ICC Gallery, the highlights of which were two installations, first “Chijikinkutsu” by AKAMATSU Nelo – a room lined with glasses of water, with a sewing needle floating on the surface of each glass and a small electromagnetic coil attached to the side. Something was randomnly powering on the coils, attracting the needle to hit the side of the glass making a tiny ‘ping’… it was such an exquisite pointillistic orchestra of tiny sounds I wanted to lie down & fall asleep to it!


The second great installation was more challenging: a VR project The Mirror by FUJII Naotaka + GRINDER-MAN + evala…. I won’t try & explain it, other than to say it very cleverly manipulated perception and the medium itself, playing with variable lag/delay and merging ones visual sense of self with that of perception….

Outside the ICC Gallery/NTT building is a complex intersection with a freeway running across it, which I’d noticed on previous visits had a lovely diffuse busyness to it… so I set up and recorded for 15 minutes or so….


Weirdly I had recorded more than enough & was shooting some video when a security guard turned up & told me to pack up…. I was happy to oblige, 15 minutes earlier and I would not have been!


I then found a couple of other locations with varying degrees of busyness and distance, and recorded some other valuable additions….


Then the rain started again, and Shinjuku just looked even more beautiful & crazily busy!



Yakitori for dinner and then headed to La Jetee bar for a few drinks…





Also shot another roll of TriX amongst all of that….