I’ve been living in the countryside of Chung-Li for more then 15 years. Since my childhood I’m used to paying attention to sounds of nature, such as birds chirping, insects shrilling, frogs croaking, dogs barking and so on. But my listening experience at Fu-Yang Park is a bit different from the one I’ve got at my hometown.
First, the group stayed in a tunnel, listening to the insects quietly chirping in the bamboo forest. At the same time, the children exclaimed from the other side of the tunnel, with the midi music singing Beethoven’s ninth symphony. Some times behind the bamboos scooters roaring away, interrupting the peace chirping of insects. I was very interested in such mixing of sounds, it reminded me that I wasn’t away from the city.
Then we went into the park. We tried to draw a “sound map”, staying near a giant bamboo tree and listening to the surrounding for about 5 minutes. By this way I could force myself to pay attention to each sound around me, not only the atmosphere. I’ve recorded the peaceful sound of insects (the same one we’ve heard in the end of the tunnel), visitors stepped by, a bird flew away from the tree, different kinds of birds called, and the traffic sounds — the cars from the highway and a plane passed overhead.
After drawing sound maps we started to climb the hill. We stopped for several times to listen to the surroundings and took some notes. What has caught my attention was the traffic sound, it was around us all the time, no matter where we went. The volume changed, while we got close to the road or went away from it. Once Yannick, Pei-Lin and I were waiting for the group to arrive near an exit of tunnel, and the sounds of cars roaring over became extremely loud. The special situation, that the Nature was just besides a thriving city, made the listening experience different from what I’ve gotten at my hometown.
At the end of the trip, we stayed besides a pond, listening to the frogs croaking. The forest in winter is totally different from the one in summer — there is no cicadas shrilling over the trees, and the mosquitoes seldom buzzing around. Without those sounds, the croaking was purer and more fascinating. And of course, there was still continuing traffic sound floating from the other side of the hill.
The field trip had brought a whole new experience hearing to the Nature (actually a natural preservation zone). The unique location of Fu-Yang Park caused the mixing of sounds from forest and from city, made me really impressed.