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Hiratsuka Tanabata is, in essence, a tone poem, though I've heard people call it a sound-film, and soundtrack, a film score… but it was conceived, like everything else here, as music. The opening section is formally composed. I actually sat down with pencil and staff paper and wrote that bit out, with its fugue-like section and all, morphing into the free, improvised flow of the following section, in which we hear a narrator describing the festival. The Ruby Gamba, which is a character in this "story," begins to meander through the soundscape of the festival. This is a sound-picture I took back in 2003 when my then-wife took me to this festival while on an extended trip to visit her family in Japan. It was a most extraordinarily wonderful day, and I remember it fondly.

I do not know what the song is that is being piped over the P.A. in the festival recording. It's not for lack of trying… we've attempted to contact the town of Hiratsuka, among other measures, to try to find out the title, artist, etc., so that they might be duly noted/compensated for the use of their recording. If ANYONE out there recognizes this tune, or the artist singing it, please let me know! Thanks!!

Underlying the entire recording is another sound picture I took at Ground Zero a few months after it started being called that and not The World Trade Center. I was struck by the sound of emptiness… the sound of nothing where there should be something, and how that nothingness echoed off the surrounding buildings and seemed to collapse back in on itself… forever collapsing inward…

As the "fugue-ish" theme comes back, transformed to blend tonally with the simple I-V alternation, the Gamba is subsumed into the texture and the transition returns. At this point you'll hear a scratchy rhythm loop enter. This is the in-utero heartbeat of my own child. The last sound you hear is the recording cited last in the sidebar.