Sunday, November 9, 2008


David Sylvian (Ambient / Installation)
LP: When Loud Weather Buffeted Naoshima
Soundscapes composed for Naoshima Island, Inland Sea, Japan. (Samadhisound, 2007)

Through their traditional temples and gardens, Japanese designers have long explored the interplay between art and nature, and in a modern context there are few places where they integrate as seamlessly as on Naoshima Island.

Known for its many contemporary art museums - including the celebrated Benessse House and
Chichu Art Museum - Naoshima offers a unique aesthetic experience.

Indeed, with its remarkable juxtaposition of fauna and human creativity, the island is the exhibit.

Its romantic - if somewhat recherché - ambience derives from the dialog between its lush landscape and rarefied modernist artworks: buildings, installations, paintings and sculptures by Tadao Ando, Claude Monet, Walter De Maria, James Turrell, Yayoi Kusama and others.

A companion piece to the Naoshima experience, David Sylvian’s When Loud Weather Buffeted Naoshima CD couldn’t strictly be called music. Rather it’s a collection of acoustic patterns and voices, a detailed soundscape which reflects Naoshima’s island environment.

superimposition of aural landscapes seems directly inspired by the multi layered dimensionality of the island. For instance, the way the Chichu Art Museum is situated underground, its collection illuminated by ghostly natural light which projects downward from skylights far above.

When Loud Weather Buffeted Naoshima may be alien and avant-garde, but neither is it forbidding or unapproachable. If it’s ‘formless’ or disorientating, it's no moreso than our daily experience, and Sylvian succeeds in inspiring an awareness of other levels of reality whilst enhancing, contrasting, and amplifying the present moment.

Like Naoshima itself, elements on the recording haphazardly (?) interact, and the contrast of natural sounds with found recordings mirrors our relationship with nature as we contemplate and interact with our environment.

cool aesthetic - observationally detached yet emotionally engaged - is an appropriate aural corollary to Naoshima's serene eco-modernism.

LINK: Benesse Art Site, Naoshima

1 comment:

Cushion Meg said...

Your posting on a timely subject for me this time! I am to go to Naoshima next month. :D