For our new album I for some reason recently got obsessed with the idea of having sounds of snow and ice as part of the musical tapestry. This idea, and the promise of some great snowboarding conditions prompted a recent trip to Niseko in Hokkaido, the northernmost part of Japan.
Because of the recent earthquake in Japan, the Niseko area, which I'm told usually has a lot of visitors from Australia during the winter season, was more or less void of people.
A bit sad really, but it did make for perfect recording conditions, as my fumbling attempts at capturing the noises of creaking snow, melting ice, and northern winds were only interrupted by the odd croaking of a crow.
For the task I used my newly purchased M-Audio Microtrack II which worked out great, thanks to its small size and robust build which meant I could easily fit it in my jacket pocket and not worry too much about it - even while snowboarding!
We are now working on the final tracks to complete the new album and hopefully it won't be long before it can be released! For now, here's a tiny taster (which may or may not end up on the final version of the album) featuring the sounds of melting icicles: