11/30 field trip feedback (laura)

My first impressive moment of this trip in 富陽 is when yannick told us to go into a tunnel and listen to the frogs croaked.  At the moment when everyone closed their eyes and quietly listened to what was actually happening around us, it gave me a sacred feeling in such an atmosphere. Also, sound from both sides of the tunnel were totally different, one side there were chilly sound from frogs and insects, another side you found warm laughter from people. We in the tunnel,simply opened our ears to listen to this kind of “harmonious” contraction, not to judge or to analyze it, but only to appreciate the sound as its own original way.

Then we climb up to the mountain. As the altitude increased, you can tell how the sound is effected  by space, woods and surroundings. Even then same sound of traffics became really different in every spot we stopped by.
All in all, I really like the sound at winter.Although not as lively as it should be in summer time, you can hear the delicate detail of each sounds. This experience reminds me of the question yannick asked us in class before, that is “Is universe itself a composer?” I wasn’t really sure what my answer should be at that time. However, presently i would say that if you are ready to embrace any sound from the world, the world is always there to bring you its greatest piece.

to this kind of “harmonious” contraction, not to judge or to analyze it, but only to appreciate the sound as its own original way.
Then we climb up to the mountain. As the altitude increased, you can tell how the sound is effected  by space, woods and surroundings. Even then same sound of traffics became really different in every spot we stopped by.
All in all, I really like the sound at winter.Although not as lively as it should be in summer time, you can hear the delicate detail of each sounds. This experience reminds me of the question yannick asked us in class before, that is “Is universe itself a composer?” I wasn’t really sure what my answer should be at that time. However, presently i would say that if you are ready to embrace any sound from the world, the world is always there to bring you its greatest piece.


Field trip feedback- sounds in the Taoyuan Women’s Prison

On 11/20, we went to the Taoyuan Women’s Prison. It sits in the suburban area of Taoyuan. Regulations are strict in the prison, so it took us a little time to enter into it and only 2 recorders were allowed to be bought inside.

The heavy sound of the iron door open and shut marked the beginning of our visit, separating us from the outside world. The deputy warden guided us through the whole building. From prison cells to classrooms to the factories where they work, we roughly experienced what the life inside the prison would be like. Iron doors and railings were visible everywhere inside the building, making it literally a cage.

It was averagely quiet and even silent inside the building. Sounds could only be heard in where prisoners were working and taking classes. There were voices of teachers lecturing prisoners how to resist the temptation of drugs and restart a new life. There were busy buzzes of the sewing machines. There were sounds of prisoners folding cardboard. All these sounds involving activities were alive but deprived of the joyful atmosphere that can normally be caught outside the prison. There were working activities, but barely any chatting. There were classes, but no laughter. This gave me another kind of feeling of “vitality.” I know that they were under surveillance. They could hardly be happy. However, I could still feel their subtle emotions and faint hope for freedom through their eyes and the seemingly non-stopping, endless sounds they sent out.

After the visit of the building, we moved to the adjacent meeting center where prisoners can see their family members. This place was crowded, like a hospital or a post office. We could see many people waiting for the meeting. Some people would talk, while some others remained silent. There were children and they tended to be restless, crawling around the chair or their families. I wondered if they were the prisoners’ children. If they were, then I wondered whether they understood the situation-what happened to their mothers and why they could only see them occasionally and temporally. The waiting scene is quite similar among many institutions, but the different purposes and moods set the atmosphere a little more distinctive.

Before we left, we were invited to an auditorium to see a series of performances by prisoners. The deputy warden said that the prisoners’ practice for the performances is regarded as one of the many ways to transform them. There were choruses, dances and solo songs. I saw their smiles while they performed. I thought that these performances might be their few chances that they could change to different costumes and bear smiles which were probably scarce during their daily prison lives. Again, even if I already left the prison building, the atmosphere of imprisonment still shadowed me and made me feel more twisted while watching these performances. I couldn’t tell whether they really smiled from their hearts. I didn’t know whether I should clap cheerfully like a normal response to a performance.

In conclusion, I think “the sound of hollow” best represent the sounds in Taoyuan Women’s Prison, namely the sounds of walking down the aisle or the sounds in the working places. “The sound of hollow” does not mean soundless, but reflects the mental states people inside the prison projected into the air. I was aware that I entered into a place where freedom is absent and everything is scheduled. This psychological alert somehow affected the way I made sounds and perceived sounds echoing around me.

Field trip at Taoyuan woman’s prison.

I have never been to a prison before this trip. In my imaginations, the prison should be a very serious place, the sound there should be very cold, sharp. Like the should of metal knocked. In this trip, I found that the sound I imagine appear at the beginning. The custodial officer’s talking style and her sound is very authoritative. The sound of all the staff there are also. But obey when they are facing the custodial officer.

When we pass through 3 iron door. The sound started to change. The sound of door closing is not that loud. They are trying to reduce the sound those are too bright or sharp. They are trying to build a warm, patience, educational feeling there. But it feels very strange. All the sound there are controlled by people. They want the prisoner there to be docile, well-behaved as they want. Just like the sound when they are making the cardboard boxes. There’s totally no any sound but the sound of the cardboard. When I focus on the sound they are making. I found that there’s some regular pattern in there. Just like what prison want them to be. All the sound are chosen there. And some people there when they saw us, I fell there are angry.

When we are listening to the sound they are learning floriculture. I think it’s very normal to expect they are talking like your mom or aunts. But the truth is, there are very quiet, no one is talking.

After we left the restrain area. We went to the waiting zone that family members to see the prisoners. We hear a kid is calling his mom. And his father is trying to calm him down. The kid is asking where mom is. Then then father says that, mom is coming out soon. The conversation appear in this place let me feel the sadness. This sound is meaningful in this place. I can feel the emotion, the expected mood happened there.

I think these help me to think more about how we can express the feeling, emotion of sound, and help me to find out what kind of sound can be a representative sound in a space.

Listening and Perceiving Sounds at Fuyang Eco Park (Hyunyoo)

Although I have always enjoyed listening readymade music, I had not paid much attention to everyday sounds around me before I took this class. I usually wear headphones or talk with others when I am outside, and I often perceive everyday sounds as noise. Yannick, Dr Yang and half of the class including me explored several places of Fuyang Eco Park(富陽自然生態公園), and it was a time mainly dedicated to listening and perceiving sounds of the places. For me, the sounds I heard at the field trip were not really peculiar by themselves(maybe because my ears are not that sensitive), but the listening experience I had was quite rare.

I am going to mention some of the most impressive moments during the field trip.

1. Sound Map

By the time we started to enter the mountain we stopped for a moment and paid attention to the sounds of that peculiar place for 5 minutes. While listening, each of us drew a ‘sound map’ on a piece of paper, which is literally a map which shows the coordinates of sounds that we hear. Mostly there were many kinds of birds and flying bug sounds near me. A little farther there were kids shouting at the entrance of the park and traffic sounds of the city. The concept of sound map was kind of fresh to me, and it was fun because I tried to show the sounds by drawing. At first I just wrote down ‘birds’ ‘bugs’, but since there were too many kinds of birds and bugs later I tried to differentiate each sound by drawing how it sounds, or expressing the rhythm of each sound.

2. At the Top of the Hill

We kept climbing the hill and actually I was having a hard time climbing… (I really dislike climbing mountains) So when Yannick stopped us by almost the top of the hill, at first I was panting hard and I could not pay attention to listening. Of course later on I tried to concentrate. Here we had a discussion. It was mainly still the same environment with when we started entering the park, but the atmosphere was not really the same. The traffic sounds were clearer by the entrance of the park, but at the top, the traffic was more like an atmosphere, and it was not easy to divide a car sound from another. There were strong winds blowing, and the traffic sounds kind of merged into the wind sounds.

3. Wetland

Just a little before we got out of the park, we visited a tiny wetland area. It seemed there were various kinds of creatures living here. We could hear the traffic sounds throughout the entire excursion including this place. But here the car sounds were a little distant, and what I could hear was mainly the animals. There were so many insects and frogs living there as well as birds, in the pond, beside the pond and above the trees. Each was producing an interesting sound, and sometimes many sounds created a harmony altogether. It impressed me that some of the animal sounds were very rhythmical, and they almost sounded like some mechanic sounds. I think we could hear the sounds more clear because there were man-made walls (built for military purposes in the past, I reckon) and the walls created a resonant atmosphere.

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.

“You throw, then I pick” –the Trash Project

Hello everyone,

Our latest editing has been done. We’ve shortened the length of the file, cutting some useless or unnecessary sections to about 12 mins (the original one is up to 14 mins).

Thanks for the comments last week, we’ve learned a lot from your feedback, it’s really helpful for us to make the project better. :)

If there is any problem or comment, please tell us. We might revise it.

Enjoy our work with the link below:


(12/16 updated: the final version)

Thank you so much!

A paper related to Trash


(I scan the paper and here is the link)


This is the article that may related to the Trash Project. Some part of it talks about how a group of people make their living by gathering trash and selling to ordinary citizens. At the end of this paper, the author comments a little bit about the relationship between the lives of these people and the build up of official recycling system. In his opinion, the latter one is now threatening these peoples’ life.

This paper also won the Best Graduate/Doctoral Paper Award from Taiwanese Sociological Association in 2003. The other stories in it are also lively and interesting, very worth-reading.

Wish you good luck~!

Runlin Huang

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…

The Recordings of the Field Trips

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Recorder Reservation Form

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1. Here is a calendar for the recorder application. Please write your name and the recorder code (A, B or C) on the date on which you want to borrow the recorder, e.g. Yi-Ju (A).
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