Category: Earwigs

Excursion in the mountain (Cyrielle)

Usually, when I go to the mountain, I really enjoy hearing the sounds of the nature and being far away from the city and its noises. Here, the experience was quite awkward because, for the whole ascension of the mountain, you could hear permanently the sound of the road. It never stopped and was sometimes so loud that you even could not hear birds or insects anymore.

But, this mix between the sound of the road and the one of the nature was the purpose of this trip. So, even if at the beginning, it was hard for me to not try to ignore the traffic, steps by steps, I began to listen carefully to the variations of both of these sounds.

At the beginning of the trip, we left the MRT station toward a garden. The sound of the traffic was quite noisy in the main road but after only 3 minutes of walk, it already calmed down and we could start hearing birds and insects. The atmosphere of this place was really peaceful: families come here to play with their children and to enjoy a peaceful moment. The sound of our group walking on small pebbles mixed with laughs of children remembered me gardens in Paris on Sunday afternoon when the sun shines: every families desire to enjoy the few rays of sunlight in the parks, far away their sordid and small apartments.

Yannick stopped our group near a huge bamboo tree and asked us to listen carefully for five minutes in order to draw our listen map. It was the first time I did such an exercise. It really helps you to concentrate on one sound in particular instead on just trying to perceive a whole atmosphere. I heard two kinds of traffic noises: the sound of the scooters driving on the street just behind the garden. This sound was really clear and you could attribute it to specific vehicles. The other sound was the sound of the huge highway that we saw later. The sound was barely perceptible but you could imagine that near this garden, a huge road was empty of cars and trucks.

Then came the ascension of the hill. The trip permitted to surround the road and so to hear the sound of the huge road in many different places: from the bottom to the top (as we climbed the hill) but also from very far (the garden) to very near (just above it). Each time, the sound of the road was different: sometimes very clear, sometimes just like a hubbub, sometimes very wide, sometimes really restricted. What struck me was the sound of birds and insects: it varies in the opposite way of the road sound. It was as if, birds and insects had decided to fill the rest of the available ‘sound space’ with their voices. Therefore, at the top of the hill, the sound of the road was so wide and so loud, that we could not hear birds and insects anymore. Finally I know now, thanks to this trip, why I hate so much the sound of the road: it destroys the peaceful and grateful sounds of the nature.

City vs Nature: Fuyang Eco Park (Simón)

Linguan’s Fuyang Eco Park is a unique place in Taipei City where many different sounds take place at a same time. Located almost in the outskirts of Taipei, Fuyang Eco Park bring us an auditive experience based on a transition or simply a cohabitation between urban sounds and nature.
A mix of : birds singing / vehicles passing by / frogs croaking / some distant crowds / branches cracking or leaves falling… This could be an aproximate example of Fuyang Park’s “Sound habitat”.

Since the Park is quite big, a clear sound transition can be noticed between the very different parts in which the park is divided.  Going uphill, downhill, crossing the tree tunnels, walking some wide open spaces, crossing some small wetland areas… those are all part of the sound experience in there. Reverberations and echoes which go changing during our course. But probably the most important fact, and related with the title, is the unceasing perception of those urban sounds. I noticed those sounds during the entire course of our hiking and could be represented on my own “sound map” as a continuum, a constant non-stop low frequency hum.

In fact, one of the most interesting things on this trip was the mutation of this hum, which actually became more and more perceptible as a low frequency as long as we were going uphill. Once we reached the top of the hill I could feel that hum on a very perceptible way (it felt even lower than before) and very different than when we were downhill in the beggining of our course. And I think those traffic urban sounds are actually the ones who are telling us that we haven’t left the city and we are on a halfway between pure nature and city. That’s by far the most remarkable feeling for me on this trip.
I think for sure there’s an easy physical explanation for this fact but this time I’ll just keep that feeling when I was there in the hilltop listening carefully and I felt some sound hadn’t even stopped for a single second. That was the sound of the city…

Projects and Groups

1. Tea Factory 王婉璇、羅西蒙、朴炫惟
2. Sounds of Sports 鍾愛、張鈞傑
3. One Day in the Campus Cyrielle Belbezier、李旭豐、劉展鵬
4. Natural Sounds mix Artificial Sounds 鄭絜心、黎子明、蔡周翰、呂行
5. Satoyama Ping-Lin and Taiwan Blue Magpie Tea 黃潤琳、張鈞傑
6. Trash 莊子瑩、吳沛綾
7. Musical Temple or Sounds of Social Movement 白哲、俞雅嵐

The soundscape of Satoyama Ping-lin & Taiwan Blue Magpie Tea

【Background Information】

Satoyama[1](里山) is a Japanese word, which refer to the area between city and mountain. While facing environment changes or development shock, the environment and economic in this kind of areas are extremely vulnerable. Ping-lin(坪林), a district in northeast Taiwan, is just an wonderful example of Satoyama which is experiencing huge conversion these years. In order to deal with problems appeared during the conversion, we are taking the Organic TEAgriculture and Blue Magpie Conservation Experiments (simplified as BlueMagpie-Tea Revolution) , to practice some kinds of best care for Satoyama Ping-lin.

As you would have seen in our poster[2], Ping-lin is

(1)     the most famous place for producing Pouchong tea[3].

(2)     its land development is lawfully restricted because of the catchment of Feicui Dam(翡翠水庫) , which ensure drinking water supply for Taipei citizens, is located here.

(3)     has a wealth of more than 110 bird species—including Formosan Bluemagpie(台灣藍鵲), Serpent Eagle(鹫), and Taiwan Whistling Thrush(台湾紫啸鸫), and is also an important habitat for other living creatures and plants.

Everything seems to be alright, until the completion of National Highway No.5 and Hsueh-Shan tunnel(雪山隧道). Since then, Ping-lin is no longer the thoroughfare people have to take to go to the east coast County of Ilan(宜蘭) to spend weekend holiday, therefore this area is bypassed and the local economic drop dramatically.

On the other hand, even the cost of living is rising rapidly in Taiwan, it was hard for us to imagine that there is totally no promotions in tea purchase price for over 30 years. The merchant just make best economical profit and have no concern about the farmer’s livelihood. Consequently, the tea farmers have to increase production and lower labor costs for survival, and the only way to do that is by using herbicides, chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

(http://docs.google.com/file/d/0B1_AgnL-pUYCTDlXYXZab013Snc/edit?usp=sharing)

Therefore, the ecology of Ping-lin starts being unbalanced, and the herbicides caused homogenization of species, and the poisons not only accumulated in those precious birds, but also contaminate our drinking water source Feicui Dam. On the other hand, even by using lots of chemical fertilizers, the life of the tea farmers, no matter on incomes, working opportunities and children’s education, doesn’t receive real improvement. They are still trapped in a situation of unfair trade and no local future.

【What have been done】

Is it possible for us to find out some kind of solution, which could protect ecology, livelihoods and living simultaneously? There comes the Taiwan Bluemagpie Tea Revolution.

Taiwan Blue Magpie has been listed as a rare and valuable species, and it was chosen as Taiwan’s national bird in 2007 National Bird Voting Campaign. Ping-lin is one of the most important habitat for Taiwan Blue Magpie, because the ecology here is very suitable and have enough capacity to to provide satisfied diets for them. As Ping-lin is mostly tea farm, by encouraging tea farmer convert to organic tea farming continuously, the ecology here would rehabilitate years after years.

But, most of the tea farmers don’t want to do that, because the risk of output decline is huge and they really don’t have time and capacity to find out or persuade customers under the unformed organic tea market in Taiwan. Helping them find out the access becomes the first important thing.

To do it step by step, Graduate Institute Building and Planning, NTU have set up New Ruralism Association(新鄉村協會) and New Ruralism Social Enterprise Co., Ltd.(新鄉村社會企業有限公司), to SELL TEA with FAIR TRADE PRISE for those tea farmers who have been persuaded to join non-toxic tea farming. This has sustained over 6 months, and you may have seen us in Tamsui Farmers’ Market(淡水農夫市集), consignment areas of many Café Shops or cultural creative shops, PCHome.com(PCHome商店街), Taobao.com(淘寶), etc..

But, selling tea is just the first step. To prompt Ping-lin into an international organic village, and impel the rebirth of this area, selling tea only is definitely not enough. We are now adding other kind of action step by step, such as open environmental education experience group for city people, providing tutoring for local students in their home, advance community supported TEArgriculture, try for enterprise adoption, and create opportunities for intern to study here.

(http://docs.google.com/file/d/0B1_AgnL-pUYCTDlXYXZab013Snc/edit?usp=sharing)

【Something I want to do】

When talking about Ping-lin, its imagination is still unclear. For most people, Ping-lin is just a rural area like any other ordinary countryside in Taiwan, a place with no distinguishing features and nothing attractive. This chaos gives us opportunities to create unprecedented expounds and narrative for Ping-lin.

Sound and soundscape could be the powerful tool.

According to my record experience in Ping-lin, it would not be a goal or specific standard procedure to do the work. What I could do, is just carrying the record machine, and walk, feel, sometimes get epiphany.

It would be an endless moving procedure, without designated future. We could just enjoy the fun, but never know where we would go.

Runlin(黃潤琳)

FB: Runlin Huang

2013.10.16


[1] See more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satoyama

[2] 仙台報告海報.pdf – (蕭定雄提供) https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B1_AgnL-pUYCYTBXdnROVEI4Vmc/edit?usp=sharing

[3] See more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pouchong

Project-tea factory in Hsinchiu

Before introducing the proposal of Simon and I, I would like to tell a story first.

As everyone knows, tea industry was one of the most prosperous business in the past and Hsinchiu(新竹) was the main city of tea producing. In that time, my grandmother and grandfather owned the biggest factory in Guanghsi(關西), a county of Hsinchiu. Their major business was exporting tea to Japan, which made them pretty wealthy that they even started running the only movie theater in that county.  However, tea industry is now a sunsetting industry. Most of the tea factories were closed and only few survived till now, so after deeply consideration my grandfather decided to transform the factory into a tourist spot. Despite of all the efforts they made for transformation, the factory never shows its flourish again.

And that’s how we come up with our purposal! We decide to record the tea industry history of Hsinchiu. Through telling a family story, the project will show others the rise and fall of a place. So far, we have decided that we will focus on few points below:

1.The transformation of sound that caused by time :
Sound could be really dissimilar  in different time even in same location. We will try to exaggerate this part to give audience a strong feeling of the flourish and decline.

2.Interviewing locals
We would like to have locals telling story of past time by their mother language-Hakka.

3.Visting tea factory both working and abandoned ones.
4.Traditional song about tea in hakka

5.tea related sound
sound of teapot, pouring the tea…etc

If you find our project interesting, and is willing to go to hsinchiu several times for the next few weeks, welcome to join us. :)
Simon and Laura(婉璇)
contact info:b99703036@ntu.edu.tw

Project proposal – rebuild old Taipei

Hi everyone!

This is my project proposal. And I’ll be very happy if you want to join me.

Use sound to rebuild old Taipei:  (just some idea)

1. choose a time like 1930 or something

2. choose a place (like 大稻埕Dadaocheng or 萬華Wanhua)to represent Taipei

3. start with a boat enter in a port( like 大稻埕Dadaocheng)(need to do research on what a boat sound at that time)

4. choose a family or some character to rebuild the situation

5. use a folk song to connect all pieces

6. some thought of the sound :  spinning and weaving、bike、plow、outdoor theater、tea house….. (need to do research)

Peilin (沛綾)

b00209019@ntu.edu.tw

Project proposal-the sounds of sports in NTU campus

My teammate and I love sports. He loves basketball and I like to go jogging. Therefore, we think, why not recording the lively sounds of sports happening in the NTU campus? We evaluate these contents to be interesting and abundant, since the sounds of sports involve various kinds of sports resonating in different space.

We roughly categorize those potential sounds in several aspects:

Sound itself-from humans (ex: yelling) / from objects (ex: balls hitting the ground)

Places- indoor / outdoor

Occasions- just for fun / in contests / in training

We are still figuring out how to arrange and present the result. Maybe we will put it in the time order (sports from day to night), or trace it within the space arrangement (start from the outdoor playground to the indoor swimming pool). We wish to tell a story about people’s love for sports and exercise. How they play a role in people’s life. How we interact with those sounds uttering within our bodies and from those implements while playing sports. We will try to answer these questions and add more ideas while working in this project.

Cyrielle – Exchange students’ favorite sound

Hey all !

As you may know, most exchange students at NTU live in Prince House dorms. When we arrived in this wonderful place, we also discovered this amazing 24H convenient store (it does not exist in Europe) located just next to our dorms.

This store is amazing because you find everything you want, at every time of the day, and for a cheap price (compared to European stores). And you can even eat inside!

So, who will be the first one to recognize the store ? Entrée 7_11

As you can see here, many stores in Taipei have their own music and own atmosphere. But sometimes their sounds and music can become stressing.
I personally think that the bell that you hear at the beginning of the record is not pleasant at all and so, is completely opposite with the peacefully music you can hear on background. 7_11

How can you feel relaxed and enjoy your meal in such a place? It is still a mystery for me… :/

Final Projects – Short Descriptions

Dear all,

Here is an article so that everybody can quickly describe his/her project and help our classmates to form group of two people. Please do not hesitate to edit this article with your description!

Cyrielle – A day in Taipei

As foreigner, I am not used hearing Taipei and Taiwanese sounds: many things defer from Europe’s atmosphere and environment. My project would focus on recording a day in Taipei of a NTU student. I think this project can be really interesting for our future listeners (mostly Europeans) who are also not used to listening the multitude of Taiwanese sounds.

I think that it would be great if my future “partner” has some technical skills cause I don’t know how mixing sounds. :( Feel free to ask questions!

Laura-Accents and Languages in Taiwan

I hope the final project could give audience a sketch of local life in Taiwan. This idea occurs to me when I was listening to “a pure person” by Taiwanese artist Lim Giong. He recorded the sound of people chatting by taiwanese in a breakfast shop, which is something really normal but the atmosphere is warm and emotional. Then it reminds me of my grandma speaking hakka, my uncle speaking shanghainese, the new immigrants speaking their country language on the bus…All of these languages and accents composes most of my daily life in taiwan.

I haven’t figure out how to make this thing happen since there are still questions need to be answered ,such as what is the best way to present different language in a same time, but i think that’s  also the fun part of making this project! Please feel free to ask me any question or just email me:) email: b99703036@ntu.edu.tw

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