The November Recordings
2005 – 2008
Field recordings from Nara, Osaka, and Kyoto done in November 2005
Listen: nara 1
There were doors to my right and doors to my left, but they were all far too small, too narrow, too frequently opened. With each gust of wind, they moved slightly to the left, or across to the right and a little higher. And just before the wind gently closed the one and then the other, the spaces beyond them were momentarily visible, between the hinges, beyond, beyond. Long narrow strips of patterned paper, and tree in flower, water running from stone to stone to pool and along, then disappearing as the door clicked shut. Since their exact positions within these darkened walls were never quite established, the spaces they concealed remained only partially known. Above each doorway, in small receding alcoves, were hung one bell and three on red strings of cotton and wool, tied to ornate wooden handles. The bells rang with the wind and the closing, the cadence and the volume of their chiming ever changing.
(We sat on wooden steps leading up to wooden rooms, walked slowly through the ancient guarded gates and along the covered wooden walkways. We crossed a river on giant stepping stones, cast cement and stone, docile turtles unperturbed, water birds gathering, the ground rose to my right, I listened. I passed the canal, the sound of water running up to, against and along the concrete walls of the bridge, the steady clicking of bicycles to my right and then my left, my left, again, crocheted rhythms disappearing.)