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Japanese Ambience MP3s from Sound Designer Tim Prebble

Sound designer and musician Tim Prebble went to Japan and, like many of us might in similar circumstances, he picked up a handy new gadget. Fortunate for us, he immediately put that gadget, a self-contained digital audio recorder, to use. Prebble’s film credits include The World’s Fastest Indian, Fracture and, most recently, 30 Days of Night, and the recordings he made during his travels show his interest in room tones. Included are several segments of the ambience of a temple in Kamamura (MP3, MP3, MP3), also from a temple in Kyoto (MP3, MP3, MP3), and water drips inside a cavern (MP3).

In the post on his website, substation.co.nz, Prebble reflects on the way recording sounds (much like taking a photograph) impacted his experience of the places he visited:

I am so happy to have all of these recordings, and no doubt some of them will make it into a film one day, but imagine the opposite ie no recorder, no mic”¦.these would all be sound memorys, slowly fading as time passes with no ability to reference them – I know which i prefer”¦ US$200 well spent! And its like the size of two cell phones”¦ and it makes you listen, be quiet and listen”¦ I stopped counting the number of times I suddenly realised I had stopped breathing & was starting to hear my heart pouding in my chest, why? Simpyl because of the sonic beauty of engaging with the environment in Japan
More details on Prebble’s audio-tourism, and additional recordings of train sounds and other settings, at his website, substation.co.nz. Also included for each of these MP3s is a quadraphonic version, from which the MP3s were derived.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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  • Marc Weidenbaum founded the website Disquiet.com in 1996 at the intersection of sound, art, and technology, and since 2012 has moderated the Disquiet Junto, an active online community of weekly music/sonic projects. He has written for Nature, Boing Boing, The Wire, Pitchfork, and NewMusicBox, among other periodicals. He is the author of the 33 1⁄3 book on Aphex Twin’s classic album Selected Ambient Works Volume II. Read more about his sonic consultancy, teaching, sound art, and work in film, comics, and other media

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