This a recording of a temple located in Ohara, just outside Kyoto, named Sanzenin. An important site for the Tendai school of Buddhism, this large complex houses many artistic and religious treasures. One of the compound buildings featured a uguisubari (translated as ‘nightingale floor’). This kind of flooring was...>>
This is a reflection on a problem that technology brings to the study of sound. The technology itself is sounded. Here is a wonderful example of this. The pine and the sounds of the windy landscape speak to the stories we've already told here about the desolation of a landscape after the triple disasters of 3/11. But the sounds are also ever partial, are captured and at the same time elaborated upon by technology. The wind produces a particular and familiar sound when it whooshes over a microphone. Without the microphone what would we hear? But in asking this are we not assuming that there is some 'natural' and perhaps then universal sound that a landscape produces that is then amplified and distorted by technology. However, perhaps all sound is to some extent distorted by the technology that is the individual ear! I think of this as a person with a hearing aide in one ear. The technology is fabulous, but the aide picks up noises - it squeaks when touched, it whistles when wind hits it at a particular angle. But if I remove the aide, the environment I'm in can sometimes become additionally sounded by a ringing in my right ear that only I can hear - that emanates from the body .... So there is something unique about each person's bodily capacity and awareness in their the processing of any sensory environment.