Third step of the Mentorship Program organized by soundpocket.
I have been invited to meet and work with a group of young artists from Hong-Kong. These brilliant people are investigating listening practices and field recordings since last October 2014 and the project will end next month while they will visit Southern Taiwan.
Last week, 13, 14 and 15th of March 2015, we did :
– A good nightwalk in the Tai Po Kau forest
I have been amazed by the quietness and almost silent forest. In Taiwan, the Spring had been there since two weeks, frogs, insects and owls making their usual crazy concert during the evenings. But in Tai Po Kau, it was mostly like the animals didn’t really woke up. Except for one kind of song of Katydids and one unidentified animal singing near the river (we recorded it, probably a cricket or a tiny frog). The only other meeting was a group of entomologist wearing camo combat clothes and a mammal walking away from us in the branches of the trees near the forest, sometimes showing a pair of glowing eyes.
– Discussions about the personal artworks of the participants.
Wonderful to have some people sharing so openly their research, their experiments and art production, such as Samson Choi Sang Cheung, Kwong Wing Ka, Grace Choi Tsui Yin, Wong Fuk Kuen, Lee Kai Chung, Sing Jantzen Tse and Chloë Cheuk.
– The public workshop
We have been preparing a workshop opened to general public with the artists following the mentorship program since one or two months. They each proposed some great listening exercises and chose carefully some locations for our outdoor experiments. Then, we gathered into four groups of two artists, one member of soundpocket, and each groups would have 7-8 participants. We had some group wandering in the core of the city, some visiting the borders of the urban environments while the luckiest ones made soundwalks and listening trips to the mountains of Hong-Kong and visited historical trails and sites.
The most difficult for a soundwalk proposition is to drag people in the daily environment, asking them to pay attentions to the sounds that they are supposed to be most familiar with. But all the participants proposed unusual, careful and creative ways of discovering and exploring the soundscapes of Hong-Kong (including static listening, listening hikes, vocal and found objects improvisations, mediated listening with earplugs, focused listening with weird dark glasses, etc.). Later the recordings, propositions, interviews and debriefing will be integrated into the soundpocket Library.
A huge thank you and congratulations for such a successful workshop : the audience seemed very attentive and participative, and the feedback we got from the ending session was very encouraging.
(photos by soundpocket)