Published on June 13, 2016 by Keith Alvendia

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.

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Aerial Arterial is the first of five parts of At The Conflux, a short film exploring the rhythm of urban Japan and its people. Stay tuned for the premiere of part two, “Tokyo Aglow,” on Monday, June 6th.

Complete gear and location lists can be found at attheconflux.com .

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I shot this in two trips to Tokyo. In May and June of both 2014 and 2015. Editing began in earnest in November of 2015 along with the composition of the music. I recorded the solo piano part in April at SoundPure studios in Durham, NC with the help of recording engineer, Artem Smirnov.

The time-lapses were shot in raw (with a 5D Mark III and a Sony A7s) developed in Lightroom, and edited in Adobe Premiere Pro CC. I composed the music at the piano with paper and pencil, input it into Finale 2014, recorded the music into Pro Tools in two separate recording sessions, added material with Ableton and Max MSP, and did the final edits in Adobe Audition and in Premiere.

Let me know what you think.
— Justin

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