Drawing the void

The void is an evocative theme. It works two ways, across a threshold. For the military, what lies outside the fence, as far as I have seen, is always represented on their maps as a blank region. And in city plans, the military base is a grey block, a chess piece which makes no move and can never be taken. There is an important difference with each type of "void space" here. From within the base, the world outside is an ocean, an expanse of otherness which laps at its shores but has no real effect there. From without, the military space is dense, solid, filled in. It may as well be a wall projected a thousand feet high. The military can virtually come and go as it pleases, but civilians must be screened, and only a select few--those who work there--have access.



7: Korea On Base

The experience of walking onto a military base is truly stepping across into another world. This soundscraping also contains a dialogue with a retired Army Sergeant-Major and a visit to the Odusan Unification Observatory at the DMZ. Listen:

soft Tokyo

Tokyo is a soft city. It is incredibly relenting. This is not a visual experience. I am talking about the cushion of space that people make way for you. The language, both bodily and spoken, is designed to ease the potential awkwardness of strangers crossing paths. Eventually the polite but ubiquitous "Irashaimase!" that store clerks deliver when you walk into their space wears out and becomes annoying. But now my attention is focused on it. In fact, if someone working in a store or restaurant breezes past me without apologizing profusely or at least acknowledging my holy presence with an irashaimase, I feel wronged. God forbid someone bumps into you.



6: Korea Snacks

This latest Soundscrapers installment takes place over a span of week. I have been moving in fits and spurts, under the weather a bit and traversing the country.

In the spirit of the Korean snack, I have limited each clip to a 10 second interval. As soon as one section of sound is absorbed in the ear, another one follows it in. Listen: