“Sound Design” is a denomination as vague as “Sound Art” is.
A simple (and highly objectionable) definition could be proposed here : a way to implement sound creation and listening practices.
Sound for dance is wider than a selection of pre-existing pieces of music. Sound envelops and supports the movements of body. It creates a narrative environment and dialogue with the structure of choreography.
Since 2007, regular collaboration with Taiwanese Dancers :
With Chou Shu-Yi 周書毅:
– Improvised performance, Opening of the Digital Art Critique Prize, Taipei Artist Village, 2007.
– Improvised performance, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, 2008.
– Some sounds for Start with the body, “A Showcase of Asian Dancers”, Hong-Kong, 2008.
– Sound Design for Ràn, Guling Theater, Taipei, 2008
– Sound Design for Faceless, Experimental Theater, Taipei, 2011.
With Horse Dance Theater 驫舞劇場, sound design for the following pieces :
– Selection of musics and field recordings for Bones, Experimental Theater, Taipei, Taiwan, 2008 and Joyce Theater, New-York, USA, 2009.
– Sound Design for Growing Up, Theater of Taipei National University of the Arts, 2009.
– Sound Design for I, Experimental Theater, Taipei, 2010.
– Sound Design, sound installations and live performance for Successor – 1, 2 & 3, three inter-media works, Huashan Culture Park, Taipei, 2011, in collaboration with Volume-Collectif (France). Selected for the 10th Taishin Arts Award, exhibition at Museum of Contemporary art, Taiwan, 2012.
– “Soundspace embodiment”, a sound/dance piece, based on four-channel field recordings, with dancer Chen Wu-Kang, selected for Digital Art Prize, Taipei. Performance at Springwell Theatre, Taiwan, 2013
– Live improvisation (involving coffee making) for I-Dance-Taipei festival, Redhouse, Taipei, 2013.
And several projects for 2015.
– Sound Design for Freesteps by choreographer Weichia Su 蘇威嘉, Experimental Theater, Taipei, Taiwan 2015 and Les Hivernales, Avignon, France, 2015.
– Outdoor Performance in the temporary space “The Texture of Uncertainty”, architects Yu Wen-Chiu and Hsu Wei-Lun, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, 2015.
– Sound Design and Live Improvisation for Two Duet, Experimental Theater, Taipei and Yilan Performing Arts Center, Taiwan, 2015.
Ongoing collaboration with 安娜琪舞蹈劇場 Anarchy Dance Theatre :
– Second Body, digital performance project with Ultracombos, Taipei, Taiwan 2014 and 2015, Linz, Austria (Ars Electronica ouverture) 2015, and touring planned for the next three years.
Since 2002, regular collaboration with Taiwanese visual/video artist and poet Wan-Shuen Tsai 蔡宛璇 under the moniker Shejingren 拾景人. Interweaving the visual and auditory experiences into a fragmented and perception-based narration related to landscape and habitat.
– Between 2004 and 2006, series of performances of real-time mixing of sounds and images (Taipei Artist Village, Taiwan, 2004. La Nuit Blanche, Paris 2005. Maison des Sciences, Poitiers 2005. Théâtre Athénor, Saint-Nazaire, 2005. Centre d’Art en l’Île, Geneva 2006).
– Promenade Nocturne, audio-visual installation by Wan-Shuen Tsai, based on nightime landscapes of Taipei, a generative film created with a real-time computer-based mixing of sound and images. Exhibition Wandering in the Poetry: The 2nd NCAF Techno Art Creation Project, Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts and Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan, 2007.
– A few creations of short experimental movies : Tea stains on a wooden table (Taiwan, 2006), Mooste (Estonia, 2007), Treasure (Taiwan, 2011)
– Liudui a series of short films related to Hakka area of Kaohsiung and Pingtung, Southern Taiwan. Commission of public art by Liudui Hakka Cultural Park, project held by DADA Idea, 2012. Published as a DVD offered to the visitors of the park.
– The Childhood of an Archipelago (2015-2016)
– The Body of the Mountain (2015-2016)
– Beiguan Music at the House of Jiang (2015-2016)
These last three films are related to the communities of Penghu archipelago, Atayal people in Hsinchu and Hakka village in Hsinchu, and were created for the Sydney Biennale 2016.
Other sound design for film/video include :
– A pit, directed by Guo Ping-Yu 郭俞平 Taipei Fine Arts Museum, 2013
– Somewhere in between : Taipei, directed by Bia Gayotto, Taipei Artist Village 2014
– The Moulin日曜日式散步者, directed by Huang Ya-Li 黃亞歷, 2015. Award for Sound Design, Taipei Film Festival 2016. Nomination to 53th Golden Horse Film Festival for Best Sound Effects.
– 中山高 Sun Yat-sen Freeway, directed by Guo Ping-Yu 郭俞平, 谷公館 Michael Ku Gallery and Taipei Fine Arts Museum, 2015
– Candy Wrapper, directed by Chang Chun-Yi 張君懿, video installation for Ten-Drum Mountain Culture Park, Taiwan, 2016.
Sound design for exhibition implies a focus on space. Unlike during the traditional performance a piece of music, the audience is not expecting a beginning and an end. The aim is to create an environment which invites the visitor to stay, to listen, to think. Therefore it is important to spread the sound into directions and areas, allowing the visitor to travel through it.
The listening room created for the Chiayi Sound Project (TheCube Gallery, 2012 and Taipei Fine Arts Museum, 2013) involved a height track composition. The position and medium used for each of the recordings was carefully chosen and the whole combination of these sounds would create a unique narrative into space. The physical space itself was designed in order to attract the attention : high quality equipment mixed with recycled old material (radio, loudspeakers). Tatami and wooden planks were used for both their visual and semantic roles, but also had an acoustic value by reducing the natural reverberation of the room.
蛙界蒙薰 Wā Jiè Méng Xūn (Digital Art Center, Taipei, 2012) was an exhibition based on spatialization, live-mixing of field recordings and live analogue synthesis of electronic sounds. The core of the piece was a 14 channel acousmonium (kind of “orchestra of loudspeakers”), some of them being home-made (open baffle loudspeakers, speakers in resonant chambers) and some of them being regular good-quality loudspeakers. The whole thing was computer controlled, with the audio path for synthesized sounds being entirely analogue. This space-based composition of sounds was supported with a visual and narrative environment. Positions of the objects and furniture depended on the sounds rather than the opposite.
Since 2008, regular collaboration with DADA Idea, a company producing mainly artwork for Public Art. This collaboration includes sound design of public space. The aim is to bring a listening experience, by its essence ephemeral, to the static and permantent construction. This collaboration is slowly evolving, and since Taiwan hasn’t got a listening-based Public Art Construction, more experimental pieces are to be expected.