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First week in Japan! 1st week of Studio Kura Residency!

Well, I guess it’s as good a time as any to post on the blog… Today is Friday, 5/10/18 and the last weekday of the first week of my one month residency with Studio Kura in Itoshima, Japan. It has been a jam-packed start to the month! We began by checking in and meeting all the other residents for the month (check them all out on the guests page on the Kura website). Getting settled into the space and meeting the artists has been incredibly easy and comfortable.

I was then off into the wilderness with my handy H2N Zoom mic. Setting out to capture the sounds of the Itoshima area and all that brings with it.


From the hidden mountain shrines to the open rice fields, there is no shortage of interesting sounds to capture. All together, I’d say I’ve taken over an hour of recordings in the immediate area.

As my project is to take recordings of both Itoshima and Fukuoka city and compose music to the compiled recordings I have also taken a trip into the city with just that intention. Setting the mic up on street corners, outside parks and across from construction sites I’ve come to learn the soundscape of areas of Fukuoka.


It hasn’t all been walking around outside with a Zoom mic and listening back in the studio (actually not much studio time so far). We’ve also had some indescribable experiences. On Tuesday two other residents and myself went for lunch in a small community centre with some locals and then our guide took us into the mountains to a Buddhist temple. We took part in a prayer service which was a surreal experience to say the least. I’m looking forward to more adventures with the entire group!

Now that I’ve put the field recordings together for their respective sections, (bar one night recording I’d like to make) I am beginning to work on structuring the piece and formulating ideas for displaying the work. Those aspects will most likely be worked out during next week.

I am taking inspiration from the natural world as well as the man made, and I’ve been reading up on some very basic Japanese compositional techniques that may find their way into the work. Mostly taking scales, modes and maybe some melodic material… But it is still very much a work in progress and there will be even more updates to come!