Nijo Castle Nightingale Floor




Someone got in touch, asking if I had ever recorded a ‘nightingale floor’ when in Japan. Back in 2017 on a trip, my GF and I stayed in Kyoto for a couple of nights being tourists with some Tokyo friends and one place we did visit was Nijo Castle which has a nightingale floor.

A nightingale floor was basically an intruder alert system, where a special construction technique was used: “In installing nightingale floors, planks of wood are placed atop a framework of supporting beams, securely enough that they won’t dislodge, but still loosely enough that there’s a little bit of play when they’re stepped on. As the boards are pressed down by the feet of someone walking on them, their clamps rub against nails attached to the beams, creating a shrill chirping noise.”

The “nightingale” in the English name refers to the Japanese bush warbler, or uguisu. This is a type of bushtit or nightingale native to Japan.

This isn’t my video, but shows the kind of floor:

Unfortunately taking photos inside the Castle is prohibited, but I had my Sony D100 recorder with me so I recorded the squeaks of a nightingale floor, while us and other tourists walked around…











Two packages ex UK arrive on the same day!
Thank you @musicthing and @thonk_synth
Nifty io card for #Buchla #Easel and
2x #Fonitronik Triple Vactrol Resonators
Korg PS3100 #synth #SoundDesign





Detritus 612



▶ DIY Bluetooth speaker with ferrofluid display!



▶ Mutable Instruments modules ported to Max by Volker Böhm



▶ Sound Devices has been bought by AudioTonix (SSL, Calrec etc)



Cybernetic Serendipity Music – love the graphic score



Miniature dioramas



▶ imagine this in the future, except with IoT
eg “OMG someone has hacked our fridge!





▶ the ribbon mic sounds quite beautiful








Wanted one of these for ages, but they have been sold out with no ETA on a new batch… So when I saw one come up for sale on Japanese auction site I grabbed it! Got to love packaging that includes a mini graff stencil…





Apple Tree



Back in 2020 I ordered a couple of Apple tree seedlings, one was “Montys Surprise” but the second one was actually three apple varieties in one tree, a grafted tree with Braeburn, Golden Delicious and Royal Gala. They have both been slowly growing, and as Spring approached I checked them regularly to see if any buds were forming… About three weeks ago, some buds started to form on one branch of the triple tree and now a second branch has started to bud, with the first buds now becoming flowers!

So maybe I might get some apples this year!!

By contrast my two blueberry plants have never done very well – I had them both in large plastic containers, but have read how plastic is horrible for plants roots, especially in summer dark plastic gets very hot and basically burns the roots. Planter bags are better, as their roots basically get ‘air pruned’ and all of my mandarin and avacado plants in planter bags are doing very well… I also read Blueberrys hate having dry roots, so I decided to replant the two blueberry plants into soil in raised bed in one of my greenhouses… So it is quite satisfying to see them starting to do better.

I was thinking philosophically about gardening the other day. A few people have compared gardening to their creative work, for example Brian Eno Composers as Gardeners and Joan Miro’s book I work like a Gardener but my thoughts were a little more existential. I was thinking about how as we get older, habits start to accumulate – for better and for worse. Time keeps passing, regardless of what we do it, until time runs out. And it is that relentless passage of time that makes gardening so rewarding. Like compound interest, a small sustained effort rewards the gardener in many ways. First, paying attention and being aware of the season and time of year. Second, spending time outside, soaking in Vitamin D away from screens. Third, appreciation for the diversity and beauty of plant life – visually, smell, taste. Fourth, to appreciate how delicious naturally grown food is (especially compared with ‘normal’ supermarket produce) and to share both that food and seedlings, cuttings etc… Fifth, experiencing the life cycle of plants.

But it is that simple idea, that time passes regardless of what you do. Planting seeds and growing seedlings is a hugely beneficial way to savour that passage of time. There might even be apples (and apple crumb!)