Things Happened Five Years Ago
Last Night, I Had a Dream About You
Five years ago, I made music to participate in a group exhibition in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Japan.
I started covering in Nagoya City while doing field recording. At the end of the first day, I arrived at the Hori River in Atsuta-Ku. I pointed a microphone to the stream, then I finished recording and looked back. There was a painfully perforated lump of concrete. It was a part of the river revetment preserved after world war II. The holes were the scars of the Atsuta Air Raid that targeted the munitions factories in the time, such as Aichi Tokei Denki on June 9, 1945.
The things that the spirits residing on the ground talk about: are the history and future of the city, the existence and activity of people, the economy, and society. The voices of those who remember that burned and destroyed by the bombs that dropped here. The remaining people built memorial cenotaphs for the victims in many places. The land readjustment project for war damage reconstruction made Peace Park, two 100-meter wide roads of Hisaya-Odori and Wakamiya-Odori, the subway and underground shopping mall, and many parks. Those had become pulsation and breathing of Nagoya city. Accumulation of time is complicated. It is still now in the middle of a change like an undulation. It was 2015, which was seventy years after world war II.
I decided to make music by covering places where people’s consciousness is gathering. The beginning is “Kaisho Forest” in Seto City, which fills with the voices of birds awakening at dawn. The place had been a candidate site for the 2005 World Exposition, Aichi, Japan. (I would be coming back to Kaisho Forest two years later for my other work in 2017)
I covered many things, felt many things, and I met them. The thoughts of various people drifted in the wind, and the facts like hard stone were just there. At another place in the prefecture, I saw an exhibit of wartime letters that wives sent to husbands on the battlefield. Colorful flowers and lights, handprints of little children. Messages like prayers.
They were not merely in war. In a passage of a woman’s letter, she wrote that she’s looking forward to the story of a heroine. I felt her loneliness of separation due to the war. And there was her strength of will to live in the time.
The title of the music became Last Night, I Had a Dream About You. I certainly created it, but I still feel that those words naturally seemed necessary.
The war that has occurred may one day become a distant history. However, I want to accept that as our thing and remember it forever and ever. As a person living in the present, I strongly feel that.
August 15, 2020