Performance – Between Stations

During my Japanese Artist Residency I recorded this ambient performance exploring the dreamlike state created by the Tokyo area metro trains, with commuters hypnotised between stations. Lost in their singular dreams though travelling together in a communal trance.

Each night as my train carried me away from the neon metropolis and toward the satellite cities. Each person was in their own world, earbuds in, manga or phone in hand – but these commuters become dreamers in a communal dream, hypnotised, and transported to our elsewheres. literally and metaphorically.

This recording was made live in PARADISE AIR Matsudo, Japan, a city on the edge of Chiba prefecture. I recreated each sound of the train journey as I heard it in the dream, the thump of the train brakes releasing, the hiss of the pneumatics, the whine of the electric engines, the clack of the wheels changing to a new hypnotic rhythm as we leave the central area. All of it is recreated.

As for the purely technical details for those Eurorack synth people. The drone and low pulsation comes from a Dreadbox Hades into an FX aid. There’s a repetitive staccato chord noise from a Mutable Instruments Plaits clone. The little jingle tune at the start is actually a sample I recorded at the start on the 1010music Bitbox Micro, as are a couple of the white noise blasts and low thumps and the some of the metallic “squealing brakes” noises. The stuff which sounds a bit like choirs is just a pitched Dreadbox delay into a clouds clone. The clackety clack noise is white noise filtered by another Dreadbox chromatic filter/amp module. The tonal noise which goes with it is a Dreadbox Hysteria into a Rings clone. I then use an AI matrix mixer and a few other tricks to create feedback drones. The vocals are from my small Dictaphone playing back recordings from the train announcement into Morphagene.