First, the song: The pretentiously-named Pastoral #1.
I was in Japan twenty years ago, during the summer of 1991, and didn't know anyone when I got there. I made some good friends there, some of whom I'm still in touch with, but since they were grad students and I wasn't I had a lot of time on my own. It was wonderful to spend some time exploring Kyoto, where I was living and working, but still somewhat lonely. I had enough foresight to bring my guitar with me, even though I wasn't terribly good at it. Still, between all the sensory input of being in such a foreign place and spending so much time alone with my guitar, I wrote a ton of songs. The best song of that summer has already appeared in a "real" recording (as real as they get for me, anyhow). But there were many others.
This one was inspired by one of my favored spots, a little park at the spot where the Takano and the Kano River meet, near Imadegawa Street. Kyoto summers are hot and sticky, with the constant hum of cicadas. Looking back, this clearly evokes some of the aimless, languid quality of my weekends there. I never really came up with a good title for this song, with "Pastoral #1" something of a placeholder until something else came along. It is, at least, better than "The Simile Song", which was the first thing I thought of.
Since the weather today in Maryland is a reminder of how it was in Kyoto, and since I've had a bit of an aimless day, I figured I'd do a quick Garageband recording of Pastoral #1. Guitar was recorded first, then the voice. No effects were used, as is probably obvious. :)