The Ecology of the Place, Melbourne 2017

The Ecology of the Place, Melbourne 2017

The project “Penghu Experimental Sound Studio” is simple : move the studio to Penghu, practice field recording, collaborate and develop ecological projects and education actions but also occasionally compose electroacoustic music.
Being close to the place where I record sounds, coming back and immediately start to working with the collected materials is a very interactive process, allowing to develop a sound piece very organically.
The last two previous sessions led to two compositions and publications, both on vinyl records released by Discrepant (UK) :
– 2013 : 一流水 tsi̍t lâu tsuí
– 2015 : 咾咕厝 ló​-​kó͘​-​chhùDuring the Spring 2017, I composed a new work, based on field recordings and analogue electronics with the participation of Lysianassa Dauby 澎科萌 (Voice) and Yung-Chieh Chang 張詠捷 (chinese lute Nanpa).

Dit lip hue hng 直入花園

The title of this sound piece is borrowed to Nanguan, an ancient music style from Southern China, still practiced in Taiwan. This song, “直入花園 Entering the Garden”, part of a Taoist ritual, describes a journey into an other-wordly and colorful garden. The condition of the plants and the pavilion seen on the path would reflect the participant’s future.
I have been visiting Penghu archipelago, Taiwan, since 2004. Its islands, surrounded by blue-green water, and battled by the wind during the Winter, are presenting a unique landscape of basalt structures, prairies and houses made of coral blocks.
But the most attractive and precious environments are underwater. In 2008, a cold water stream, consequence of climate change, destroyed a large part of the coral reefs. Overfishing, drifting garbage, abandoned fishing nets and construction projects constitute a huge pressure on these natural habitats.
I have done underwater recordings since a while, but it is only this year that I finally started a more systematic sound documentation, in collaboration with marine biologists, experimenting with recording techniques, initiating a sound archive and bioacoustic survey.
I consider the original song “Dit lip hue hng” as a metaphor, visiting these underwater gardens, observing their condition might give us a hint about our future.

This work was an invitation by Philip Samartzis, a commission by Bogong Centre for Sound Culture, curated by Madelynne Cornish, Byron Huang-Dean and Matthew Berka. The piece was played in Melbourne during the event :

The Ecology of Place
RMIT SAB Cinema
Melbourne, Australia
16—18.06.2017

// photo above is one of the most beautiful remaining coral reef of Penghu archipelago, near the Dongji island //