Other Islands: 2012-2018 – a compilation of recent highlights, recorded in New Zealand, Western Australia, Fiji, Indonesia and Okinawa
In 2012 I was home in New Zealand for a total of seven days, in July/August. Oherwise it was very much a year of two halves.
Until the end of June I lived in 沖縄 (Okinawa).
Nat da Hatt and I recorded a track for our duo album ネオン列車の風景 Neon Train Landscapes – our version of a traditional shima uta (island song)
As you can hear, the music of Okinawa is quite distinct from that of mainland Japan. It uses a different scale, and the sanshin is a distinctive instrument.
I also travelled twice to mainland Japan: to Kyushu in March – to Yakushima to see the 3000 year old cedar trees, and from Kagoshima to Kumamoto, Takachiho and Fukuoka;
and then in July to Honshu, where I climbed Mt Fuji – the Japanese have a saying that a wise human climbs Fuji-san once, but a fool does it twice; if so I was especially lucky to see the sunrise from the top –
and then spent six days crossing the northern alps with Nat da Hatt. We made a movie along the way and composed our own soundtrack.
Whereas my first Asian album (from 2008) was made out of field recordings and acoustic instruments, ネオン列車の風景 mashed up Japanese sounds with electric guitars and lo-fi electronica – to reflect the mix of ancient & futuristic and the everyday surrealism of Japan.
Following this I returned to the southern hemisphere winter and spent a week back home. Mike and Simon and I reconvened for an acoustic jam, that became the Flying Visit EP. The sanshin I brought home plus Mike’s charango from his travels in South America added a touch of new pan-Pacific fusion.
The Winter: Flying Visit
Next I traded Okinawan coral reefs for Australian surf beaches, subtropical humidity for dry heat, and uchinanchu for bogan culture. I moved country once again to Perth, Western Australia, my base of operations for the next two years…
One thought on “2012”