Secret of fallen leaves / 落葉の秘密

I went to the place called "mountain" for the first time. It was very much like the large hard bump we have on the bottom of the ocean. On the ground surface, though, we have to do the movement called "climb-up", rubbing the surface of the "mountain". Carefree bug was flying in the air, carefree. He said "It's too much work to climb if you don't have wings! Isn't it too uncomfortable to step on these rough bumps?" My air diving apparatus filled with water was quite heavy. Each time when I almost lost balance, carefree bug pushed the smooth surface of my air diving mask up with his tiny hand to help me. His hand was so tiny and the power I felt from his pushing up was as weak as a stroke of breeze. The feeling of climbing up with somebody who are trying to help me, though, helped me a lot. Something internal was pushed up by that feeling, and I didn't mind the pain of going on the rough surface at all.

Besides, the ground surface was covered with lots of fallen leaves. They were all different shapes and colors, and they were all beautiful. It was carefree bug who came up with the idea of coming to see the fall colors. He said, dancing and drawing circles in the air, "I usually got nervous at this time of year thinking about coming winter and how it would be cold. This year, though, I can just crawl under your fringe if the cold wind starts blowing. It's SO EASY!"

As soon as we arrived at the top, suddenly the panoramic view spread out before us. Beyond the mountain we just climbed up, there were another mountain and more mountains that seemed to continue endlessly.  The sense of vastness somehow brought me a feeling of strong happiness half mixed with strong loneliness. Even the carefree bug had to say in poet-like tone, "Oh. We are, so small.", sitting gently on a fallen leaf, looking far into the vastness.

We met a man who was walking around on the pile of the fallen leaves. I asked him if the leaves were happy or sad when they fell. The not-so-young man smiled and said, "Why don't you ask these fallen leaves?" Then he added, "The fallen leaves are great. They fall each year like this and eventually completely disappear into the ground. Then they sprout on the trees again in the spring. They are different leaves, but they are the same leaves!" I couldn't really understand what he meant yet. The carefree bug, though, screamed with excitement, "Yes, yes, that's it!" and flipped himself once in the air. 

sample point: Harriman State Park, NY




落葉がたくさん積もっているところを俯いて行ったり来たりしている人がいるので、枯葉は落ちる時に淋しいのですか、それとも幸せなのですか、と聞いてみた。その若くない男の人は、落葉に聞いてみたら? と言って笑った。それから「落葉は偉いねえ。こうやって毎年落ちて、そのうち地面の中へ消えちゃうんだよ。でも、また春になると、生えてくるだろう? あれは違う葉っぱなのに、同じ葉っぱなのさ!」と言った。わたしにはその意味がまだよくわからなかったけれど、のんき虫は「そう、そう、そういうことさ!」と叫んで、空中でくるりと一度宙返りをした。


End of Summer / 夏の終わり

One day I heard cicadas in the street. I knew it was the sound made by an insect called "cicada" since a sound technician at a cinema had told me before. He has very good ears to listen to all the fragile sound hidden in the streetscape.

I didn't have my microphone that day. So I went back the next day to the same street, the same time of the day. Cicadas were all gone. I thought summer would last forever, so I even didn't care recording them in the middle of it. When I finally wanted to record them, they were gone. On the ground, lots of things go like this. Lots of people, lots of things are too strong of a ray to see at the noisy hight of it. When it becomes finally visible, it is already disappearing. The most of the times, people fail to catch its tail, and the next season will arrive. I saw many times a person who couldn't catch anything sat on an end-facing bench staring at his/her hands.      

At that night, I noticed the certain sound mixed in with the darkness. It sounded sari sari. It was the sound arrived right when cicada sound left. I started recording it so that I wouldn't miss it this time. At that moment, I saw something very small surfing on the wind. IT landed on me. It was a small insect with tiny wings. He started chattering immediately when he landed on me. "Can I crawl under your shiny fringes when it becomes colder?" I didn't know my scales had such a use. I said "Yes, please." The insect quickly slid his legs under my scales saying "Call me carefree bug. Nice to meet you!" He swung his head and added, "Autumn night isn't so lonely when I am with someone." 

 "What is that sound, sari sari?",  I asked. "They are autumn insects.", he replied. He explained me that sari sari was the sound of autumn insects chewing the cold wind. "Don't you know that autumn wind is harder than summer one? That's why it makes such sound", continued the carefree bug. "Oh, I see..." ... I was not sure if the thing carefree bug told me was correct. What was sure was that the sound I once thought lonesome started to appear merry while I was listening to it together with somebody. I began to imagine beautiful movement of scissors cutting the hard autumn air into various shapes. The scissors cut many invisible shapes out and layered them into the darkness. It seemed like not many people on the ground was noticing it, because all the prickly or whispering shapes had colors yet they were all transparent.

Sample Point: Brooklyn, NY





あのサリサリという音は何? あれは、秋の虫だよ。ああやって、サリサリと冷たい風を咀嚼してるのさ。夏の風よりも秋の風の方が堅いだろう? だからあんな音がするのさ、とのんき虫は言った。ふうん、と言いながら、それが本当かどうかはまあどちらでも構わないけれど、誰かと一緒だと本当にさっきよりも全く淋しいような気がしなくなって、淋しい音だと思っていた虫の音が、硬質の秋の空気をいろんな形に刻んでいるハサミの美しい動きに思えて楽しくすらなった。そのハサミは目には見えないいろんな形を切り出して、闇に重ねていく。でもトゲトゲやさやさやの様々な形は色はあっても透明なので、それに気づいている人はあまりいないみたいだった。


A Train / 電車

A “train” came. “I can go far without walking if I take this”, said a grandma. “I’ll be able to catch the 10 o’clock meeting if I get on this!”, said a young man. “I can see houses and flowers from the window”, said a child. “Since the kinetic energy is applied to the human body, which is originally a quiescent point…” started a scientist. Me, I thought the train is similar to secretly riding on the back of a stingray, and the people swaying in it are “floating” like they are in the water. Because I noticed that, I decided to ride on.

Sample point: Kyoto, Japan



Where is Fishgirl now? / フィッシュガールは今どこ?

Did Fishgirl disappear? No. She is there collecting sound. Sometimes, she looks at flowers too long, follows a tail of dragonfly endlessly, or listens to the long story of a lonesome guy. That's why she often forgets to broadcast her sound. Soon, some shiny sound will be sent to us.

フィッシュガールは消えちゃったの? いいえ。今もそこで音を蒐集中。ときどき、花に見とれたり、とんぼのしっぽをずっと追いかけていったり、孤独な男の長話をずっと聞いていたりするので、音を放送するのを忘れちゃうだけ。もうすぐ、ピカピカの音が送られてくるはず。

A shell-shaped building / 貝の形をした建物

I went inside of a big shell-shaped building. It was a place called museum. Museum is a bit like the ocean. Seems like less gravity here. Things float, so as the minds. I listened, quietly. Even the heaviest soul here sounds serene. Museum must be a place for meditation. A security guard came to me to tell not to take photos. But he smiled instead when he realized I was just listening to human minds.

Sample point: New York, USA



A quite large instrument / かなり大きな楽器

Feet are harder than fins to start with. Moreover, human beings wear things called “shoes”. Moving percussions! Here, everyone comes from somewhere, heading to somewhere, without knowing playing the instrument called ground surface. I heard that, even at this very moment, there is a secret ensemble happening between the hoofs of running giraffes in savanna, high-heels climbing up the stairs of an apartment, a grandpa with a cane and light tappings of penguins in Antarctica. 

Sample point: Kyoto, Japan

足は鰭より硬い上に、人間は靴というものも履く。動く打楽器! ここでは、<地表>という楽器を鳴らし続けていることも知らずに、皆どこかからやって来て、どこかへ向かっている。今のこの瞬間にも、サバンナを駆け抜けるキリンの蹄、アパートの階段を上ってくるハイヒール、杖をついたおじいさん、南極のペンギンのひたひたが、密かに素敵なアンサンブルを奏でているんだって。


Message from above / 上からのメッセージ

Many things have passed in front of them. Soft, brutal, metallic, airy, organic, invasive, indifferent. They never stop singing. The continuous message from above. A film director said we should listen to them because they know better than us — because they have an aerial view of the city, an aerial view of all. Now I don’t remember if he was a film director, or he was a poet.

Sample point: Essen, Germany



I probably never listened to IT before/聞いてなかったみたい

When I was in the water, I didn’t hear it. I never thought I wanted to listen to it. There is a little water on the ground surface, and it all is moving from high to low. In the middle of it, the surfacarians drink it, wash with it, play with it, and listen to it. A grandma told me that listening to the water is like listening to the memory before her birth. 

Sampling point: Kyoto, Japan



2.22. 2:22:22 Landing / 上陸

2.22. 2:22:22. That’s the time she was born. To be precise, that was the time she was “landed”. Equipped with her special gears to explore the ground surface. A peculiar silhouette with a small microphone and a recorder.

2月22日2時22分22秒。彼女の生まれた時間。正確に言うと、彼女が「上陸」した日付。 特別装置で身を包み、地上を探検するために。小さなマイクと録音機の、へんてこなシルエット。