March 4th, 2006

Arfurirampo Podcast Interview

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I have seen Afrirampo live twice, and both times they were amazing. The podcast was done backstage at The Loft in Tokyo. It went well although we had some difficulty with language.When the convesation got confusing, neither one of us understood our second language well enough to figure out how to express ourselves, but it worked out. I left some of the Japanese conversation in the interview because if you understand Japanese, it could be fun. In the beginning of this podcast I quoted Luigi Russolo’s Art of Noise written in 1913. He was a futurist painter that I beleive, predicted noise rock of today, especially that which is coming out of Japan.




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February 28th, 2006

Setsubun soundscape

Posted to Podcasts, soundscapes, Bamboo and Motorbikes

I was in attendance at the Setsubun festival in Kyoto. It is a celebration of the New Year in which people are encouraged to bring things to burn in a large fire. This act symbolizes the “letting go” of the old to make way for the new. I arrived very late, near midnight, the booths and foodstands were closing up, but the fire was still burning.

Blazing ahead of me at the top of a long flight of stairs, I saw a mound of smoldering ashes surrounded by a host of drunken and jovial onlookers.

The podcast is a snapshot of this moment. As I walk around the fire voices in many languages can be heard describing the scene in one word or phrase, while my footsteps sound in gravel.

1minute 18seconds

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February 28th, 2006

Oops ! I made a mistake

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In the beginning of the interview “The Bombing of Babylon” I said that Natalie Stanchfield attended the X Color exibit in Tokyo. It actually took place in Mito. Sorry.

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February 20th, 2006

“The Bombing of Babylon”: interview with Natalie Stanchfield

Posted to Podcasts, interviews, Bamboo and Motorbikes

Podcast number two. I talk with Natalie Stanchfield, a Long Island University student at the Friends World Program in Kyoto, Japan, about her recently published paper: “The Bombing of Babylon” which can be seen on  We discuss graffiti in Japan its beginnings and its blossoming.

The music used in this interview is:

Car Wash by Rose Royce

Pusher Man by Curtis Mayfield

Check it out!  It’s sooooooo fresh!


February 20th, 2006

“Dude” as a linguistic tool

Posted to Uncategorized

Yesterday, while sipping coffee at a fine cafe in Kyoto, my friends and I exchanged a bit of English slang for tutoring in Japanese.

We discussed the versitality of the word “dude.” Not only can it be used in such phrases as ” Knarly dude!” or “Dude that was totally heinous,” but it can also be used alone. The change in intonation and inflection determine its meaning. We informed our Japanese friend that if he learns this word and all its connotations combined with the correct tone of voice, he would be able to communicate effectively in the United States.

After only fifteen minutes of instruction he is well on his way to understanding.



February 15th, 2006

Hound Dog Taylor

Posted to Music, blues

Here is a groovy video of Hound Dog Taylor I found on the blog of Victor Chen. If you want to see some epic west side Chicago blues baby this is it!


February 14th, 2006

Computers and Nature

Posted to Bamboo and Motorbikes

In modern society computers have become so much a part of our lives that the familiarity of their sounds has become a pleasant addition to the soundscape. On the Blog Sonic Walden, I found these quotes:

      “Further, participants described natural settings, when directly asked to identify their favorite listening place(s). I have included a couple of journal entries that begin to illustrate how the computer is converging into our natural soundscapes - sounds glide (rather than collide) into one another within the sonic theater of our mind.”

“While I was in the computer lab today, I was transported into the woods. As I sat typing, I became aware of the hum that the computers made. This sound remarkably resembled the sound of crickets singing their nightly songs in a rural area. I began to think about fishing at my Grandfather’s farm and the sound of wilderness that surrounds the area.”

“I heard the sound of my computer, vehicles passing by on this very quiet night. The sound of the vehicles on this empty road reminds me of the place where I came from. There, many street sellers displayed their merchandise with coconut oil lamps. This sound makes me feel peaceful and calm. ”

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February 14th, 2006

More on primal unitiy or tonal center

Posted to Music, Bamboo and Motorbikes

A comment I  received inspired me to write another post about tonal centers. Generators, electric lights, and signs have a recordable pitch. A study was done by Murray Shaefer in a small town in Sweden where he plotted these frequencies on a sound map. He found that these pitches created a G sharp major triad. Furthurmore, when a train went by he found that the whistle was a F sharp creating a dominant 7th chord. I have not yet recorded the pitches around Kyoto, but I intend to. Kyoto may very well be in a tuned to a minor key. More on this as it develops… 

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February 11th, 2006

Kyotos tonal frequency

Posted to Music, Bamboo and Motorbikes

The buzz of heaters, computers, lights and air conditioners all have a frequency based on the type of alternating current a given location runs on. Japan runs on 50 cycles per second, in other words 50hz. Therefore, if A is tuned to 440hz Kyoto’s tonal frequency would be G sharp. 

       James L. Oschman, author of Energy Medicine, The Scientific Basis, has researched the medical effects of extremely low frequencies (ELF) on the human body. ELF are defined as being 100hz or less. He speaks of brain wave frequencies which are as follows:Delta 1/3-4 Hz, Theta 4-7Hz, Alpha 8-14Hz, and Beta 14-50Hz.

       Most of these frequencies are subsonic or out of the audible range for the human ear which begins at 16Hz.The higher frequency Beta waves are associated with intense activation of the nervous system or tension.

         How does this constant audible hum at 50Hz affect those who hear it??


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February 7th, 2006

International Man of Mystery

Posted to Podcasts, blues, interviews, Music, Behind the Mask, Bamboo and Motorbikes

“Mistakes, I’ve made a few, but then again…”

At last the first podcast of Bamboo and Motorbikes has been completed. It is an interview with Delmark recording artist Sho Komiya, who played bass all over Chicago for 12 years and is currently living in Tokyo. I knew alot about Sho before I did the interview, and I tried to lead him into telling stories about how he was shot at on a westside bus or the time he walked through a gang fight in Florida with Eddie C Campbell. None of those stories came out but alot of interesting ones did.