MSCTY w/ MEMU EARTH LAB Presents MEMU RADIO October_3-4 2020
October 3-4th 2020
MSCTY x Memu Earth Lab Present Memu Radio
Listening to the present: questions for the future
Created by Nick Luscombe, Yu Morishita, James Greer
October 3-4 2020
Musicity and the University of Tokyo’s Memu Earth Lab created a 48 hour broadcast from Memu, a uniquely dynamic location in Hokkaido, northern Japan.
Memu is a place that while remote, contains an extraordinary micro-universe of activity, with roots in the region’s long history as a final frontier for centuries for in turn, the indigenous Ainu people, Meiji era farm developers, architectural prototypes for future ways of living, and now for the new frontiers represented by its housing of Japan’s first private space rocket launch programme.
This unassuming location surrounded by nature, where clarity and possibility are rapidly emerging together, forms the hub for a global correspondence with inspiring practitioners in the fields of sound and music, architecture, science, technology, art, agriculture, hospitality, and beyond.
Please dig in and enjoy the growing library of resources from the weekend below.
SAT001 Walking Memu (Nick Luscombe + Ken Nishikawa)
The British and Japanese radio producer-broadcasters take us on a guided walk around Memu Meadows, introducing the experimental buildings and concepts at the heart of Memu Radio, and the site of Memu Earth Lab’s activities.
SAT002 Where We At: Tuulikki Bartosik (Pirita, Tallinn, Estonia)
Estonian composer and innovative accordionist takes her thoughts and music outdoors to the beautiful wilderness of Estonian coniferous forests, from her location on the Baltic coast. 1st BROADCAST 1230 JST START / 2nd BROADCAST 1230 BST START / 3rd BROADCAST 1530 EDT START
SAT003 Caring Sound: Professor Manabu Honda + Hikari Sandhu
Two individuals exploring different approaches to the healing properties of sound and listening, from the perspectives of both information medicine and music therapy. Manabu approaches the objective and consistent processes of general medical practice with inaudible frequencies, while Hikari is concerned with the role of alternative medicine in practice.
The sound sample played towards the end of Manabu’s talk is his recording from the rainforest of Borneo. It has been reduced to 48kHz, 24bit for radio transmission purposes, therefore will be able to suggest, rather than fully convey, the original existing hypersonic components within the inaudible frequencies. 1st BROADCAST 1300 JST START / 2nd BROADCAST 1300 BST START / 3rd BROADCAST 1600 EDT START
Takahiro is at the forefront of democratizing and making space exploration a part of the everyday with his unique private rocket launch program, based in Memu. He shares his thoughts on what makes the site so well-placed for these activities and how he is working towards new societal horizons. With an introduction from Yu Morishita and James Greer, whose Winter Season Soundtrack plays in the background. 1st BROADCAST 1330 JST START / 2nd BROADCAST 1330 BST START / 3rd BROADCAST 1630 EDT START
Leading sound artist and recordist known for her recent groundbreaking work with the mechanical sounds of bicycles reflects on life and sounds of the inner city village of Brixton, South London. 1st BROADCAST 1400 JST START / 2nd BROADCAST 1400 BST START / 3rd BROADCAST 1700 EDT START
SAT006 Placing Music: Professor Akeo Okada (University of Kyoto)
Akeo reads the history of the western classical music tradition through its relationship with the environment, giving light to the musicological sound of places. In doing so, he questions the future of listening within concert spaces and of listening to places beyond 2020.
In the background, during the interview, we hear a late summer sunset from the top of one of Memu Meadows’ experimental buildings: In Nest We Grow, whose concept is centred on agriculture and the outdoors. After the interview we enjoy sunrise from another of the experimental structures, Inverted House, an inside-out home reimagined so all activities take place outdoors. These bring back the sound of the outdoors which was phased out of western classical music concerts since the 18th century. 1st BROADCAST 1430 JST START / 2nd BROADCAST 1430 BST START / 3rd BROADCAST 1730 EDT START
SAT007 Where We At: Aisha Orazbayeva (Le Poujol-sur-Orb, Hérault, France)
The violinist reflects on readjustment of life as a new mother during the lockdown following a move from the heart of Central London’s contemporary music scene and European concert circuit, to the isolation of a rural village in the south of France. 1st BROADCAST 1500 JST START / 2nd BROADCAST 1500 BST START / 3rd BROADCAST 1800 EDT START
SAT008 Listening Beyond: Peter Prince (Open Acoustic Devices)
Peter’s PhD led to the development of the Audiomoth – a small and affordable device which can monitor the natural world over long periods of time, and pick up the frequencies beyond human hearing. We hear about the future of listening, wildlife recording … and of course all sounds are recorded via his device. 1st BROADCAST 1530 JST START / 2nd BROADCAST 1530 BST START / 3rd BROADCAST 1830 EDT START
SAT009 Where We At: Georgia Rodgers (The Cairngorms, Scotland)
Composer and acoustician Georgia Rodgers reflects on listening to rain and climbing mountains to make recordings in the extreme conditions of the Cairngorms in Scotland, which she compares to her home in London. 1st BROADCAST 1600 JST START / 2nd BROADCAST 1600 BST START / 3rd BROADCAST 1900 EDT START
SAT010 Soundtracking Memu (MSCTY_STUDIO)
The first impressions for an upcoming soundtrack for Memu Earth Hotel, comprising a blend of locally recorded and gently processed sounds. 1st BROADCAST 1630 JST START / 2nd BROADCAST 1630 BST START / 3rd BROADCAST 1930 EDT START
SAT011 Where We At: Yousra Mansour (Marrakesh, Morocco)
Member of the French-Moroccan group Bab L’ Bluz, Yousra shares her surprisingly eclectic musical influences and reflects on life in Morocco’s famously buzzing, ancient city of Marrakesh. 1st BROADCAST 1700 JST START / 2nd BROADCAST 1700 BST START / 3rd BROADCAST 2000 EDT START
SAT0012 Where We At: OKI (Hokkaido + Sakhalin)
Musician OKI reflects on the natural soundworlds and culture of Hokkaido and the neighbouring Sakhalin. His work takes in a fusion of global influences, but perhaps most significantly is at the forefront of a new movement bringing the region’s traditional Ainu culture into the limelight. 1st BROADCAST 1730 JST START / 2nd BROADCAST 1730 BST START / 3rd BROADCAST 2030 EDT START
SAT013 Where We At: Chris Watson (Suburban Newcastle, England)
The BAFTA-winning BBC sound recordist and sound artist reflects on lockdown life and ornithological revelations in the suburbs of Newcastle in the north of England, UK. 1st BROADCAST 1800 JST START / 2nd BROADCAST 1800 BST START / 3rd BROADCAST 2100 EDT START
Tokyo-based architect Taichi shares his reflections on Memu and the future of compact, moveable architecture, through the lens of his experience working on one of Memu Meadows’ structures – an unassuming izakaya bar in the back of a trailer which was driven up from Kagurazaka, Tokyo. 1st BROADCAST 1830 JST START / 2nd BROADCAST 1830 BST START / 3rd BROADCAST 2130 EDT START
SAT015 Soundtracking Memu: Listening to the Meadows (MSCTY_STUDIO)
Recordings made in Memu Meadows, in the space near the Studio and Bar buildings. 1st BROADCAST 1847 JST START / 2nd BROADCAST 1847 BST START / 3rd BROADCAST 2147 EDT START
SAT016 Imagining Memu: Strange News from a Distant Star (Neil Luck + James Greer)
James Greer and Neil Luck reimagine the landscape, communities, and sounds of Memu as those of a distant utopia; a prototype for a self-sustaining cultural and biological ecosystem, rotating slowly in space.
Combining James’ onsite field recordings, and Neil’s (as someone who has never set foot in Hokkaido) tour of an imagined futurist-arcadian landscape, this work takes you through, and through again a proposed strange life-cycle of Memu. The work also features the voices of Musarc choir. 1st BROADCAST 1900 JST START / 2nd BROADCAST 1900 BST START / 3rd BROADCAST 2200 EDT START
SAT017 Where We At: TA2MI (Kagami, Kumamoto, Japan)
Buddhist monk by day, DJ, track maker and Beatboxer by night, TA2MI shares a rather unique selection of sounds from a typically extraordinary day in his life in the temple. 1st BROADCAST 1930 JST START / 2nd BROADCAST 1930 BST START / 3rd BROADCAST 2230 EDT START
SUN001 Building Memu: Kengo Kuma + Architects of Memu Experimental Buildings
Beginning and ending with Kuma’s thoughts on how Memu can signpost a new direction for both architecture and how we live, we hear from a series of those to whom Memu will always hold a special meaning – representatives of the student groups who built the site’s experimental structures through the LIXIL International University Architectural Competition. In the background we hear peaceful sounds of everyday life at Memu Meadows. 1st BROADCAST 1200 JST START / 2nd BROADCAST 1200 BST START / 3rd BROADCAST 1500 EDT START
SUN002 Where We At: Sirasar Boonma (Bangkok, Thailand)
The sound artist, recordist, and founder of Hear & Found is known for documenting people and places in the more remote reaches of Thailand. Here, she reflects on this, and her life in Bangkok. 1st BROADCAST 1230 JST START / 2nd BROADCAST 1230 BST START / 3rd BROADCAST 1530 EDT START
SUN003 Soundtracking Bangkok (MSCTY_STUDIO)
A short journey through the city, taking in river crossings, a temple at dusk, a quiet market, and more. 1st BROADCAST 1252 JST START / 2nd BROADCAST 1252 BST START / 3rd BROADCAST 1552 EDT START
SUN004 Where We At: Magnús Bergsson (Eyrar, Southeast Iceland)
With 2020 affecting a drop in tourism, field recordist Magnús has been able to make pristine recordings of near silence in the natural wonder of Iceland’s wilderness. Here, we are able to listen to the sounds of various plovers, geese, sandpipers, and more.
But while the sound may appear tranquil, it also bears significance as a time capsule for a changing environment. Climate change has caused the nearby centuries-old glacial rivers to disappear within the last few years, and in their place a mixture of moss, grass, and trees have appeared, and the biodiversity of this region is changing fast. 1st BROADCAST 1255 JST START / 2nd BROADCAST 1255 BST START / 3rd BROADCAST 1555 EDT START
SUN005 Birding Man (Mike Webster, Cornell University/Macaulay Library)
Mike is charged with two fascinating roles connected to listening to our world – he runs the world’s largest repository of natural sounds as Director of Macaulay Library, while also running Cornell University's Webster Lab, which researches ornithological behaviour from a neurological perspective. We hear Mike’s thoughts on sounds during lockdown, and approaching listening from a scientific and data-driven perspective. The birdsong recordings played are by Matthew Medler, Collections Management Leader at Macaulay Library. 1st BROADCAST 1325 JST START / 2nd BROADCAST 1325 BST START / 3rd BROADCAST 1625 EDT START
SUN006 Where We At: The Lake District Commons (Taiki, Hokkaido, Japan)
A short collage of recordings made on the site of a unique farming complex and base for a new approach to agriculture, which will be explored in the following program. 1st BROADCAST 1355 JST START / 2nd BROADCAST 1355 BST START / 3rd BROADCAST 1655 EDT START
SUN007 Voicing Agriculture: The Lake District Commons
In the first part we hear from Takashi Shirai, a farmer with visionary ideas about the future of how agricultural practice should operate, through the formation of a “commons” which he describes to us on site of his unique farm – which also produces some of Japan’s most highly regarded mozzarella.
We then hear a specially-composed track from Yasuaki Shimizu – Lake District Suite Prelude, the first part of a story which will grow in the coming years.
In the second section we hear from Yasuaki Shimizu, who in an interview with Nick Luscombe, reflects on what soundtracking these lands means for him, his compositional process, and more. 1st BROADCAST 1400 JST START / 2nd BROADCAST 1400 BST START / 3rd BROADCAST 1700 EDT START
SUN008 Where We At: Yosi Horikawa (Yakushima, Japan)
Yosi's work uses field recordings as a basis for highly original and engaging electronic music, with a strong sense of place. We hear his thoughts on and recordings of Yakushima, an island rich in nature in the south of Japan, plus the music he has constructed from these recordings. 1st BROADCAST 1445 JST START / 2nd BROADCAST 1445 BST START / 3rd BROADCAST 1745 EDT START
SUN009 Narrowcasting Futures: Rachel Chan + Nick Luscombe
J-WAVE Tokyo radio presenter Rachel Chan speaks with BBC/Memu Radio Producer and broadcaster Nick, describing her vision of the future of radio listening in the age of streaming and unlimited narrow choices. 1st BROADCAST 1515 JST START / 2nd BROADCAST 1515 BST START / 3rd BROADCAST 1815 EDT START
SUN010 Joining Dots Part 1: Asami Jinguji
Asami is part of a community who are putting the Doto Region (of which Memu is a part) firmly on the wider cultural and geographical map, through the publication of their Dot Doto unofficial guide book, and related online and offline media. We hear from Asami about the group’s motivations, what their voices mean today, and vision for the future of Doto. 1st BROADCAST 1545 JST START / 2nd BROADCAST 1545 BST START / 3rd BROADCAST 1845 EDT START
SUN011 Joining Dots Part 2: New Questions for a New Society (RSA Japan Fellows’ Network)
With Memu as our guide, we follow short presentations from Adam Fulford and Christian Schmitz with a wider conversation featuring Freyja Dean, Dhruv Kohli, and Satoki Yoshida, in a discussion on future directions in a post-pandemic world. Moderated by Yu Morishita. 1st BROADCAST 1610 JST START / 2nd BROADCAST 1610 BST START / 3rd BROADCAST 1910 EDT START
From the rolling English countryside that characterised hit BBC comedy Detectorists, to the paranoid peril of cult classic Berberian Sound Studio, Jones’ career has never been far from the influence of listening to place. He reflects on this in an interview with Nick Luscombe. 1st BROADCAST 1700 JST START / 2nd BROADCAST 1700 BST START / 3rd BROADCAST 2000 EDT START
SUN013 Where We At: Thiago Nassif (Jardim, Pantanal, Brazil)
The musician shares recordings made in the rainforests and national parks surrounding his home in the suburbs of São Paulo, along with reflections on his own relationship with listening. 1st BROADCAST 1730 JST START / 2nd BROADCAST 1730 BST START / 3rd BROADCAST 2030 EDT START
SUN014 Where We At: Yumiko Morioka (Jiyugaoka, Tokyo, Japan)
Composer, performer, and now, talented confectioner Morioka looks back at her eclectic musical career which takes in successful J-pop records and her legendary – and only – solo album, 1987’s piano-textural masterpiece Resonance, which was reissued earlier this year to wide acclaim. 1st BROADCAST 1800 JST START / 2nd BROADCAST 1800 BST START / 3rd BROADCAST 2100 EDT START
SUN015 Where We At: Carl Stone (Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, USA)
Like many people, Carl’s year has been somewhat different to what was planned, and has seen him spend an extended period in LA, away from the base in Tokyo from which he usually carries out his teaching work. He reflects on the sprawling suburban planning and architecture he has found himself surrounded by and the role of place in influencing his work. 1st BROADCAST 1830 JST START / 2nd BROADCAST 1830 BST START / 3rd BROADCAST 2130 EDT START
SUN016 Realising Place: Taichi Kaizawa
From the town of Nibutani, across the Hidaka mountain range, Taichi voices his roots and Ainu heritage, realizing the difference to be the norm – as in the sounds of forests which all echo ever slightly different. Alongside this are sounds from the band Marewrew, who are signed to OKI’s Chikar Studio label, which gives a voice to artists emerging from this culture. 1st BROADCAST 1900 JST START / 2nd BROADCAST 1900 BST START / 3rd BROADCAST 2200 EDT START
SUN017 Looking Forward: Memu Earth Hotel
We close proceedings with a contribution from Masahiro Nomura, Director of Memu Earth Hotel, before a special presentation of our 2019 workshop and final journey into the sound world of Memu Meadows' natural wilderness. 1st BROADCAST 1930 JST START / 2nd BROADCAST 1930 BST START / 3rd BROADCAST 2230 EDT START
MSCTY Explores new ways to experience the world through sound and space.