The notion of the listening garden holds a more defined quality in Japan than it may in many other countries. Whilst we all might enjoy unspoken moments in our yards, parks and natural surrounds, greeted with bird song and the hushed awe of wind in trees, Japan?s Zen Buddhists and others took this chance for engaging the aural awareness in natural spaces to a whole other level with the use of the Suikinkutsu (Japanese water Koto).
Like this ancient installation, the audio works (albeit more digital in origin) from American sound artists Deupree and Willits seek to achieve a similar level of aural awareness. Installed at the Yamaguchi Centre For Arts and Media, the work created a discreet space in which found sound, electronic pulses and ambient guitar interludes created a momentary break in the otherwise static gallery environments that surrounded the sitting garden.
As a recorded document this CD shows how difficult it can be to represent a living shifting space through collected edits. Whilst it?s an engaging listen, the fragments of the everyday that emerge (sounds of people, distant drones of traffic perhaps) only hint at the ways in which this work would have connected with and augmented the YCAM galleries and garden. 7/10 -- Lawrence English (19 September, 2007)