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Week 4, Final Week of Studio Kura

Blink and you’ll miss it... That’s how it felt like the past month went at Studio Kura. The final week of my stay at the artist residency was spent exploring Fukuoka prefecture and all (as much as I could get to by train) to offer. Fellow artists and I went walking through the wilderness, exploring the history of Kyushu in museums and castles, searching through second-hand stores, taking quick Shamisen lessons, and even relaxing in an onsen (it’s weird). We’ve met up for dinner, eaten amazing food and discussed plans for the future. It’s an amazing experience to be able to travel to a foreign country to live and work but having like-minded, talented and kind people working around you at the same time makes it unforgettable.

All the work displayed over the two weekends of the festival was world class quality and deserves all the praise and recognition it received. And that goes double for all the staff who worked to organise and facilitate all that went into the festival. Having a space to work on a single project and then display it in a festival setting is something that can be hard to find and everyone at Studio Kura work so hard to provide a great work and living space for their artists.

I didn’t change anything in my work between the two weekends of showing but I did start planning the album form the work will take. Right now, it seems like a 12-track album of both individual field recordings and the combination of recordings and music will be what I put together for a low-key online release (unless someone wants to split the cost of producing a physical version). Hopefully we can set up a performance of the work back home so the work can continue to live on in a spatialised capacity. That will be a complete outcome of a great month of working and recording the sounds of Fukuoka and Itoshima.

At the moment I’m on a Shinkansen train going between Fukuoka and Okayama looking back at pictures I’ve taken over the month and already reminiscing about all the fun we have had. I’ll be making my way around some of the big cities of Japan for the next two weeks. Maybe there will be blog posts but who knows? Tomorrow my plan is to head out to the island of art museums on Naoshima and see all that I can see and then Osaka and on and on.

And I guess all that is left is to dump a few photos up here on the blog…

Second week!

Second week of the residency down! This week has been full of bike riding and soundscaping. I began the week by completing the structures for the two tapes (sounds from Itoshima and Fukuoka) that will make the base of the installation. I then moved onto working through the hour of sound planning out the appropriate compositions to go with sections of time. I also planned the work to have a macro structure of a kind of ternary form, going through modal changes that would resolve in the key the piece begins in. (We’ll see how effective this is…)

I also began planning the workshop that I’ll be running during the festival weekend. The workshop will be an adaptation of the workshop Sounding Canberra ran back in September and will show participants a few approaches the field recording that they can take with them and develop. We will discuss the history of the medium and also it’s implications.

But it hasn’t been all-work-no-play, we’ve also had a few great trips around the area. On tuesday we were taken to the Saga prefecture to see the way washi paper is made and I’ll just say that it is an incredible process that has amazing results. The variations in the paper show the level of skill the craftsmen are working with and you could often mistake the paper for fabrics.

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There also seems to be a few things I’ve failed to mention in any kind of blog post recently. First off, I recently launched a Twitch channel called Limited Live. The idea of LimitedLive is to have a space where people can come and perform and an audience can view those performances through the Twitch platform. I’m a big fan of Twitch and I think it has the potential for a good deal of music streaming. Secondly, I also launched (on the twitch channel) a new record I put together under the act name of Soft Hollow. The record is titled ‘S’ and is the first of what will be many records.

Please go and check out the record and give it a download on Bandcamp or stream on all the streaming services.