At the Conflux is a series of short films that explores the rhythm of urban Japan and its people by time-lapse film maker and classically trained composer Justin Tierney. He describes this as a passion project combining three of his favorite things: making time-lapse films, composing music, and touring Japan. Shot during two trips to Tokyo in May and June of 2014 and 2015, Tierney did all the editing and also composed the piano solo, complementing the feel of this fast-paced city.
Aerial Arterial presents Tokyo from above. Its sprawling nocturnal cityscapes crisscrossed by thruways. It begins with shots atop the world's tallest tower—the Tokyo Skytree—with the expanses of the urban grid illuminated by headlights below. We end closer to the concrete with dizzying loops traced by traffic. In between these poles, the massive fiery-hued highways pulse through the wards of Minato and Shinjuku, like veins circulating blood. The towering skyscrapers watch over all, unmoved—soaring sentinels of steel and glass. Not a soul is seen. Only machines. The music is minimal. The images need space to breath. Tender Japanese flavored chords are accompanied by street beeps, night noises and satellite hums. After all, in the metropolis, the crickets are replaced by singing machinery. This is an ode to edifices of the great eastern capital. To its atmosphere and infrastructure. A static lullaby for a city on stilts.
Tokyo Aglow tours the Japanese capital by road and rail. Whereas Aerial Arterial (the first installment) explores the edifices of the city from elevated perches, Tokyo Aglow captures the city from the blacktop. The automated Yurikamome flows through Odaiba and arrives downtown. A taxi whips to converging clusters of crowds in Shibuya. Scores surge, stream and swarm, tangle and scramble. Patterns of people, probabilities and periodicities, play. Weaving and knotting, the masses rhythmically engage with the machinery of modern life. Koto inspired chords underpin the music of the piano. Trombone, trumpet and violin map to the patterns recurrent and emergent. Crosswalk chimes, chirps and cuckoos echo into the night.The next three installments will be posted here.