“I was given a stack of children’s records about a year ago at a flea market I regularly go to. One of them was a version of this song, a traditional song. The title means “Please pass”. It’s about going to a temple to get a blessing for a child’s 7th birthday. A friend here told me that the line “iki wa yoi yoi, kaeri wa kowai (going there is fine, coming back is scary)” always scared her when she heard it as a child. About a year later I realized that a lot of pedestrian crossings in Osaka use this music so I decided to go and record the music from the pedestrian crossing and sing along with it. It seemed like it needed to be done. Don’t ask why. I did all the recording this month September 2003. The street recording was done one drizzly night on Midosuji, a busy road in central Osaka."
Hiroshima uses that sound, too. Whenever I hear it, I have to think of hot & humid summer days in the centre of that town, the street crossings vibrating with that metallish sound.
The hot air hits you like a wall whenever you leave one of the hyper-airconditioned shops that, chaotically, populate the concrete building structures around the roads.
A sound of summer, in an alienation kind of way.