02. Park bloom
I had begun experimenting with field recordings in early 2022. I recorded ambient sounds as I walked around Salesforce Park during my lunch break on a beautifully sunny day in March. The park stretches four city blocks and takes about ten minutes to walk around in a loop. I recorded for the duration of the walk and trimmed the recording to highlight certain sound elements. This provided the piece’s formal structure. The tools I used for this piece are Voice Memo on my iPhone and GarageBand.
I was a quiet child and my parents characterized me as “shy,” “resilient,” and “tolerant.” Today I would have a hard time describing myself in those ways but I remember feeling safe with my own thoughts. As I grew older I began to feel the need to be validated by others, for others to confirm my identity/ies, to conform to them, as they were given to me, so that I could perform appropriately. I adopted not only ways of acting and thinking certain ways to go along with my surroundings. I made this piece to conceptualize and be OK with - if not celebrate - introspection. To neutralize identity politics and go back to the mindset of my younger self before I cared what others thought of me. Being without performing, without explaining.
A quiet 花見 hanami, blossom viewing, by myself. I layered the sounds of the park with the bass loosely plucking the tune of “Sakura.” Hanami is often a social event but I experienced it privately, as my younger self would. I was experiencing it in a public space and nobody else cared. I never dissociated my private experience from the public, the reality of the urban park, other people’s conversations, but the rest of the park didn’t have to know what I was doing. I felt peaceful embracing my introspective self.