Saturday Night at Susukino

  • Saturday Night at Susukino 00:00

Writing the Susukino soundscape in a text description was not an easy task. Therefore, I said it at the beginning: if this description cannot explain well and maybe on the contrary, lessening experiencing sounds, it would be better if you just listen to this 18 minute record, while I went through Susukino at a cold night with a handy recorder. This description is more of a faded taste (udar rasa), or an experience confession. I recorded this audio at Saturday, April 20th 2019 around 7 pm.

At one side, Susukino at a weekend night reminds me of an experience of being at the great Shibuya intersection in Tokyo.  Night entertainment central, shopping, to the famous ramen in Sapporo feels so lively with the numerous gleaming board lights hung in tall towers. There is a burst of an identic energy between  Susukino and Shibuya (listen and read to ‘Afternoon Walking Across Shibuya’). Even so, the nighttime soundscape in Susukino sounds a tad bit different, even though there is a lot in common too. Because I don’t want to be stuck in this shallow comparison thinking, I wanted to know more about this opinion detail.

Firstly, in Susukino, the sound of engine roars and tram howls across is inseparable in this area. Everyday a tram passes Susukino.  This of course is the most primal differing factor. While the similarity is probably: when crossing the pedestrian area in Susukino, oftentimes music played through loudspeakers outside of restauants, stores, karaoke and other entertainment stores is audible. These music noises resonates due to the reflection from tall building’s walls. Then there is also the sounds of advertisements in different billboards that is also put through loudpseakers. The difference might be the tension of advertisements and billboard noises is not as much as Shibuya.

Other than that, in this audio can also be heard the conversations between foreign tourists. There is also laughter from youths which seems to be employees. It felt as if they would not want to miss a night in this weekend without having fun. Maybe they are going to spend this night by numerous entertainment, maybe in a karaoke place, izakaya, or bars (this is just a guess). The pantofel foot steps and also high heels can be heard clearly when they cross over sidewalks. Meanwhile the roaring car engines and other transportations roaming the main road of Susukino can also be heard. Every now and then with a little honks and Japan’s signature traffic light signal noise.

Weekend nights at Susukino is really lively and bright. People celebrate this moment with high energy. After I done the recording, a pack of youngsters who seemed drunk came to me and asked what activity was I doing while pointing towards my recording device. “Hello, I think, I am drunk too. Drunk in sounds and noises”, that was the answer that crossed my head.

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Sounds: Japan