Akihabara Station Stairs

October 8, 2010 8:31 PM

This is an environmental sound recording: rush hour commuters descend a staircase at Tokyo's Akihabara Station. You'll hear the dopey little melody (twice in a row) that they play for every train that pulls in, the clatter of feet as commuters rush down the stairs, the ambient bird call recordings they play in the station, and the pre-recorded announcements. Video here, which is the third clip so far at my new YouTube channel, HiddenTokyo

posted by flapjax at midnite (4 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

I vaguely remember Akihabara from when I was in Japan three years ago... Took me back, that. Thanks. :)
posted by MaiaMadness at 1:03 PM on October 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

I didn't really get this until I watched the vid. I anticipated that you'd "resolve" the piece with the empty staircase - but that anticipation didn't detract from it at all. I liked it, but can't quite articulate why. I could get all pretentious and say it was a metaphor for the transience of life (or something...), all that busyness for what exactly? All those people, young and old, tall and short, fat and thin, all rushing to get somewhere, all with their own lives and preoccupations, hopes and fears. Coming from nowhere and leaving nothing behind. You could write a lyric and do a subtle Betjemanesque voiceover? Perhaps not - speaks for itself, I suppose.

I found one of the other ones rather sad - the "Chaplinesque" drunk. But the Hidden Tokyo theme is a winner. Nice one Flapjax.
posted by MajorDundee at 1:54 PM on October 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

I was worried about you for a moment there when one fellow was giving you the stink-eye. You've posted some really great shorts before. You really have a gift for finding the hidden art and beauty in everyday life. The whole world is one great big free show. Thanks for posting this!
posted by snsranch at 2:38 PM on October 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

I don't know why this is so good, which is why it is so good.
posted by mhjb at 11:13 PM on October 11, 2010

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