So I have been locked away for the last few months working away on a number of different things. One of these things was the written part of my Fellowship report from the research I conducted in April and May in 2017.
Well after hours spent pouring over my keyboard and numerous revisions it is finally completed. Once I get the nod from the WCMT and all other groups involved it will be released for free via the WCMT website as part of their archive.
(Photo of Mono Lake California USA, Missing Wolf)
The Nikkei Memory Project is a trans-national oral history collaboration exploring the stories of Japanese Canadians in Southern Alberta after the second world war. Project is lead by Dr Darren Aoki from Plymouth University UK, and Dr Carly Adams of Lefbridge University, Canada,
Following the story of Nancy Nakamura, through the lens of Dr Aoki’s interview I was taken to create a piece that could help bring Nancy’s story to life. Over 100 hours later that is what we managed to achieve.
The out come , ‘What Is Written in The Sky Of Your Mind’, which is a combustion of Hopi dance rattles, drums, Mongolian Morin Huur, and the mystical voice of Sabrina Margarete Sauer. In addition with the use of wild soundscapes from across the North American Continent, and cornwall, and the voice of Nancy Nakamura, her powerful laughter and reflections on her life, we have created something quite unique.
Droping a hydrophone in the water, all of a sudden, an environment full of life being expressed by the vocalizations of many different insect and larvae was revealed.
This recording tittled ‘The Edge of Greatness’ allows you to dive under the water to perceive the voice of creatures that you may not even know exist. But here they are undeniably living, and vocalizing in their own unique song.
We may not be aware of the many voices sounding in their own complex sonic habitat. What astounded me was that the different niches that appear in the larger habitats appear in the same way in these microcosms, each puddle forming a space where complex relationships are played about between insects, larvae, amphibians, fish, and more.
Turn your ear to more soundscapes: http://www.missingwolf.com/soundscapes/
What is Soundscape ecology? This is a question that has been on my mind for a while, and you might wonder why seeing as there are a growing number of people working in the field producing material around the subject including; Prof. Almo Farina, Prof. Nadia Pieretti, Dr. Stuart Gage, and of course Dr. Bernie Krause.
This is a complex question, and although I don’t intend to answer it I would like to discuss it.
Soundscape ecology can be defined in simple terms; as the study of all sound emanating from any given habitat. However the ramifications and the exact nature of the field itself can be elusive.
Don’t worry I am going somewhere with this and I believe I can demonstrate why the question (what is Soundscape Ecology?) is not quite as straight forward as it may seem…
As I sit writing this nine Turkey Buzzards soar overhead in the mid-day sky helping to define my sense of place. The first week of my Fellowship has been a very fascinating introduction to many of the facets that bought me to the West Coast of the US and it is time to start talking about a few of them.
As a composer it seems a good place to start to throw ideas out there concerning music. Philosophically, and actually in my belief, the natural or wild world around us holds the key to where our music making comes from. It is also my assertion that soundscapes and the vocalisations found within do not just highlight our past but also path the way for new and innovative possibilities concerning music and our perception of sound…
Well where do I start with this one? In the closing months of 2016 I spent considerable time putting together an application for the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust’s Traveling Fellowship, thank you to everyone who took part in that endeavor.
My aim, to travel to the USA to work along side experts in the field of Soundscape Ecology, namely at Wild Sanctuary with Dr Bernie Krause and his wife Katherine, to to develop my own skills so that I am able to disseminate what I learn with others for benefit of the United Kingdom. A long story short I have the funding and the support of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust (WCMT)!!
In the words of the WCMT ‘Travel to learn, return to Inspire”….
I have been approached by Dr Darren Aoki of Plymoth University to collaborate with him on a incredibly interesting, dynamic, and yet challenging project. So far the process has been incredibly insightful and one that I am also very pleased to play a role in.
‘You gotta have a little feeling of the song you are singing’, reflected Nancy as she recalled the story of her life in an oral history interview. It is a tumultuous journey that saw a young girl shunted from Rocky Mountain ghost towns to the prairies in Canada’s wartime persecution of its citizens of Japanese descent; that saw her shipped back and forth across the Pacific to and from Japan, separated from her family, and forever haunted by these upheavals. Through it all, she sang to remember and to forget, songs which give voice to her vulnerability and above all, her resilience…”
February, a month quite a number of people would rather skip, for me it is actually the month of my birth and often a chance to head out into the wild to record the sounds of the winter.
I had never been to the Lake District before but had always had it on my list of places to explore. What I found was actually one of the most spectacular and magical landscapes I had ever visited…
Well 2016 was over in the beat of your heart and I wish to get the news flowing of all the work and projects that will bridge the last year to the new.
Back in 2014, working in collaboration with composer Joseph Brook, saw the creation of a vocal piece based on the close harmonies of Bulgarian vocal music. With the aim to express a voice for those who can not be heard alone, the voices we can not hear, be it the trees in the forest, or the voice of the river, to those people who have not the rank or privilege to be recognised as equals.
After a lengthy writing process that stretched over half the year, and auditions for vocalists, the project stalled just as we were about to kick off our first rehearsal.
However in 2016 with a renewed cast, full of passion, and dedication, we have brushed of the dust and once again ‘One’ will glimmer in the light of the moon.
Read more to find out how things are going and what you can expect to come!
The depiction of a Japanese tale performed largely by a group of drummers may not seem the obvious Sunday night entertainment for Malvern but it was something which certainly hit the mark at the Forum.
We are half way through the ‘Legdend of Dojoji” 2016 tour and we have been some very beautiful and interesting places, meeting many new faces. Here is the review of the show on the 6th November at the Malvern Forum by choice radio.
The Legend Of Dojoji, performed by Taiko Meantime, was explained in full by the Rev Shunjo Ono (pictured during the talk, he is the quietly-spoken unassuming Head Priest of the 1,300 year old Dojoji Temple who, on his first visit to the UK, was clearly enjoying the Worcestershire countryside and had also a good grasp of the British sense of humour!) in a pre-show talk using two scolls with words and images before the real event of the evening got under way…
The time has come and after weeks of preparation with Taiko Meantime and the last few days of tech rehearsals with the whole team, we are finally off to kick off our 2016 Tour of Djojoji.
It is going to be a hectic couple of weeks as we take the show on the road.
Click for more info on the tour and where to see us.
‘Three species are lost to eternity every hour. November 30th annually is a chance to learn and tell their stories, and to renew commitments to those [species]remaining.’ – https://www.lostspeciesday.org/?page_id=25
In the week I was asked to contribute an article to this years Remembrance Day for Lost Species concerning the loss of the Natural Wild, and what can be discovered about human impact when listening to soundscapes of different wild, natural, rural, and urban habitats.
More on that later…
So what is the Remembrance Day for Lost Species…
As the summer ends and we look to Autumn I would like to take some time to reflect on what was a pretty good year for my self with Taiko, seeing the regular faces this year and some new.
Picture to the right is of our performance as part of Corona Sunsets 2016 at Greenwich peninsular, London.
It has taken countless hours, and it is still not complete, but it is never good to sit on your laurels or wait for perfection!
So here it is the new site to house all my creative endeavors, success, failures and more.
Check here for news and updates on different projects, new work, as well as performance dates, and of course for some thoughts and feelings.