In the afternoon, a guest lecture at Göteborgs Konstskola for a group of enthusiastic young artists, some of whom will be joining us for The Sound We See project. In the evening, a delicious dinner of shrimp big and small (it’s shrimp season in Sweden!) prepared by Maria and Linus followed by a night of exquisite musical sets by DJ Elena Wolay (Jazz Is Dangerous!) and DJ Bruce Leenus at bar called Kino… right up our alley!
More exploring by tram, foot and ferry today with our great Gothenburg guides, Maria and Linus.
Ten hours of sleep and it’s up and at ’em! We take a stroll around the town, through parks, into markets, along the water and into the historic district, soaking up all the delights of a new environment… Then, a cozy little feast with treats gathered along the way (spicy meat sticks, shrimp dip and giant sweet pretzels) with Maria as we go over plans for all the upcoming workshops and presentations.
We’re in Gothenberg after the most smooth-sailing international traveling experience ever (two thumbs up for you, Scandanavian Airlines, for your super friendly staff, tasty food, clean bathrooms, guided meditation soundtrack and a movie called Keanu edited by our friend Nicholas Monsour, plus a special shout out to you, jovial Swedish customs man!).
I love a county where you can use the same word for hello and goodbye. Here in Sweden, that word is “Hej” which sounds like “Hey.” You can use the word once OR twice. Hej or Hej Hej are both a-okay! Throw in ja (yes), nej (no) and tack (please OR thank you!!!!) and I’m feeling bilingual already.
A big Hej Hej to my filmmaker friend Maria Magnusson and her DJ partner Leenus de Milo. I met Maria at the Film Farm back in 2013 and we bonded over our love of analog. After Maria did a residency at EPFC last year, we talked about the possibility of a Sound We See: Gothenburg. Thanks to Maria’s great work, the dream is a reality and here we are having dinner together at their cozy flat at the beginning of what is sure to be an exciting collaboration. A real rainbow day!
So long, LA… We’re off to Sweden!
We got to Kamakura in the early afternoon and before we even put our stuff inside the house, we were being whisked off onto yet another journey. Mr Kawakami, one of the elders of the town, took us up into the hills for a beautiful nature walk along ancient samurai trails and we even saw Mount Fuji through the clouds! When we got back from the walk, we unpacked and started to get ready for the workshop. There were about 30 people at the class and Lisa, Paolo and I were each in charge of a station: Lisa did the Photobooth of Change, Paolo shot some Super 8 with the kids, and I worked on the Cyanotypes. I played with the kids after, and then we had snacks, played Bingo and watched movies (Thanks for all the amazing translating, Shinji!). Afterwards there was watermelon, soba, tea (for the kids) and saki (for the grownups) and everyone talked late into the night.
We have found paradise on earth and it is Fujino. Imagine everything you loved in one small community: welcoming friends, stunning natural beauty, hot springs, butterflies everywhere, art and spaces to make it, organic food, home grown green tea, happy animals, books, beautiful furniture, handmade ceramics, music, movies, time to talk and walk and eat and laugh and dream together… Thank you, dear Kozue, for inviting us into your magical world for two days we will cherish forever.
Today, we rented bikes from our Ryokan and headed over to Arashiyama on the western side of Kyoto. We saw a few temples and then hiked up a very steep trail to an area inhabited by monkeys! The type of monkey is the Macaque aka Snow Monkey. They walk around in the wild and if you want to feed them, you have to go into a building and hand fruit or peanuts to them through the window bars: the humans are in the cage and the monkeys are free outside! With the baby ones everywhere, Lisa was truly in heaven. After that, we walked around the area, ate lunch, walked through the Bamboo Forest and when Lisa’s new hat was blown into the water, set out on an expedition to find it with me fording the river. Unfortuanetly, the hat got waterlogged and sank so my bruises I got from slipping on stones were in vain. We met up with LA friends Mark and Emily later and went to see a weird play called NOH. It is a Japanese drama that has been performed since the 14th century based on stories from old literature, with a supernatural being transformed into a human. There was a lot of yelling involved and I was very confused the entire time. We got dinner after and when we were done, the garage where we had stored our bikes was locked! Fortunately, a businesswoman came by and was able to open it up for us. On our way back to the Ryokan, we found a store selling vintage kimonos… perfect gifts for some certain special someones back home!