Discovering Lin Shuen-Long’s PEI

Early Summer IUooUI was invited to sing for the opening of a new Art Museum in Yingge. A beautiful backdrop for our concert, so we gladly accepted and prepared a special program, since it would be an outdoor stage. Upon arrival on a sunny Saturday morning, it turned out that the museum did not show its beautiful surface, but was clad in scaffolding; it also turned out that the backdrop of our designated spot was not the museum at all, but the main stage for the bands that would be featured later; and if that was not enough, contractors were still busy doing construction work using noisy drills. For us, the performance was a disaster, though some listeners had milder opinions.


Upon arrival I had noticed a fascinating adobe-colored tower on the grasslands surrounding the museum. I had had a quick look and listen but was most eager to explore it more indepth and invited my singers to join me after the concert. It turned out to be a splendid work of art, of architecture, or something in between. A sonorous temple graced with the most intricate light patterns I have ever seen on adobe-like structures (earthy hues have been my favorite at least since the beginning of this millennium). These shifting light rays are the result of several horizontal slits placed in irregular intervals along the body of the tower. We stood in awe, listened in awe, walked around in awe. Notwithstanding the presence of a few other visitors, we began quite naturally to emit our first tones. The resulting resonance was as soft and layered as the plastered walls, which had uneven, undulating surfaces that still showed the signs of paintbrushes. Our voices bounced off the walls in a pleasant, smooth way, not as crystal-like and pure as glass-covered structures, but with a coarser grain of sound.



Walking around, you would hear your own sound, or someone else’s suddenly shifting from one direction to a totally different direction. Or even enveloping you from all sides. It is a familiar but surreal phenomenon in many round, resonant spaces with the wall or ceiling curving inward. In certain spots someone who is standing opposite you talking or singing, sounds as if she is behind you.

I knew already during the first glimpse: this is the kind of place I have been looking for in Taiwan for more than ten years. As time passed I knew I had to temper my expectations. There were occasional resonant places, like the one I had stept into earlier this year, but those were usually not very suitable for performing, or not very pleasant to be in, or too expensive or too inaccessible. This new tower was in fact many times better than what I had ever expected. It was not just a sonic treasure, which I somehow usually imagined to be a white or grey space, or otherwise colourless. This was the most intimate, warm, lush light I had seen in years, if I had ever been in such a building at all. It simply seemed to breath by itself already.

We did some more research and learnt to our astonishment that this treasure was not part of the newly opened museum, but it had been standing there for 14 years. Some months later, Sunny noticed an announcement of an event in the tower with the architect, the next day: the day when IUooUI rehearses! I quickly jotted down a simple idea we could sing and shared it. We rehearsed it in the morning and set out to the museum. Exactly at the designated time, the architect appeared from a hidden door, as if coming from nowhere. In the center of the spiraling form he began to talk casually about the history of his tower, its symbolism, problems he had overcome, adaptations to the original idea and more. The place came alive even stronger with these stories. Pei, as the tower is called, really was opened 14 years ago and virtually nothing happened with it, to the chagrin of the architect, Lin Shuen Long.

During the Q&A we introduced ourselves and asked if we could sing a piece to honour the architect and his creation. We spread out and sang Pi:Ecce (I thought the name of the tower was Pi, not Pei). I then started an improvised piece which IUooUI completed beautifully with several solo parts. The architect was enthusiastic about our musical performances and told me something that moved me to the core: “this tower has been waiting for you for fourteen years”.



This place is a treasure, a multi-faceted gem of a building. Not designed with a 3-D program, but by bare hands with mud or clay, just like all that amazing pottery that the small town of Yingge is famous for. Some pottery shops in Yingge have a history of 500 years behind them, and took their technology with them from the mainland. There is no more suitable architectural tribute to the town then a tower designed like most pottery is designed: from an ancient, artisanal practise. We can be greatful to the decisions-makers who planned to build something like this, for chosing this architect, and for both parties to overcome all the hurdles necessary to complete the project. And what is 14 years in the light of generations of pottery making? Now let’s hope steps are taken soon to celebrate the incredible potential of this tower, both visually and acoustically!

Our more or less failed outdoor performance on that early Summer day happened for a good reason. I feel blessed that we ran into something so special.

Introducing: IUooUI

A new group called IUooUI is going to give its first series of full performances. Most of us know each other for many years now and share a deep passion for overtone singing, throat singing and improvising with voices and instruments, as well as work on the body-mind relationship. We decided to take it a step further and create surprising performances based on all those amazing sessions we had during workshops throughout the years. We all have dreams and desires to bring the music in our heads alive, for others to hear. This is a challenge. We leave the intimate comfort zone of a workshop space. We are ready to confront an audience of curious listeners in unusual settings, and to envelop them with our resonances, overtones, mantras, syllables, shrieks, assisted by drums, Jew’s Harps, shruti boxes and more.




The name UIooUI stands for the mantra-and sutra-like phrases that we often use, inspired by the okyo of Michael Vetter (1943-2013). Michael transformed these traditional Japanese sutras to expand his own musical language, and this has become part of my own language now. IuooUI also stands for:


Of course, the syllables i-u-o-o-u-i  make a small overtone piece in themselves.

The name was proposed by our in-house poet, Amang, whose Chinese name is , which is the last part of IUooUI when it is pronounced as a three-character Mandarin syllabe, yiwoyu.

Our in-house designer JiJi Liu created the logo for us.


The name TWEAKS refers to the process of tweaking, adjusting, making things better by smaller or sometimes bigger changes. It is my hope that next week we can really tweak all the musical elements so that they keep on growing, changing and move towards a more refined shape. This week, at least, some of us were still busy tweaking, like JiJi and Sky, who came up with this after the dress rehearsal:



It has been inspiring to see how busy all members got in recent months to prepare for this first complete performance. They have been working diligently on their sounds and pieces, of which more than half is composed by themselves in smaller units. They took care of sound and light, finding equipment and personnel to handle it, costumes …


Earlier this year we have done some smaller performance, to warm up, and as teasers for our bigger program.



Sunday August 21 – 19:30

Wednesday August 24 – 19:30

Friday August 26 – 15:00 and 19:30

Sunday August 28 – 19:30

The performances will be held at VENUE, on its 5F space, No. 10, Lane 107, Linsen North Road. This is a bustling area and if you have the time, you can have diner before at a nice Japanese restaurant, Umeko, right next door to VENUE  (no. 8)!

Limited 20% discounted tickets available, please write to: iuooui.taiwan@gmail.com
to secure your seat. Tickets: https://www.opentix.life/event/1536284030369976325

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IUooUI : 全新泛音詠唱團體的誕生
8月【漪渦⿂】 就要正式公演了~
我們即將參與 2022臺北藝穗節,一共演出5場~
1:【8/21 19:30】 (日) 晚
2:【8/24 19:30】 (三) 晚
3:【8/26 15:00】 (五) 午
4:【8/26 19:30】 (五) 晚
5:【8/28 19:30】 (日) 晚

演出資訊: https://www.opentix.life/event/1536284030369976325