Taiwan

Summer-Autumn Program

Concerts IUooUI @ Taipei Fringe Festival – finished

Check out this full  blogpost about IUooUI.

 

WORLD JAW HARP MUSIC FESTIVAL TAIWAN

The other special event is the very first Taiwan Jew’s Harp Festival, ambitiously called the International Jaw Harp Festival Taiwan. Ever since I came to Taiwan in 2003, I was amazed about the Jew’s harp culture. But I also noticed the painful absence of Taiwanese Jew’s harps at many of the international events and discussions. There is a new wind blowing now, and Taiwan is going to make itself heard, first of all locally, with ever more Jew’s Harp enthusiasts, but also internationally. Plans have been launched (and destroyed by the pandemic) for groundbreaking regional events around the Jew’s Harp with other South-Asian countries. I can sense that in the future this is going to expand seriously, because South/East Asia is a vibrant place for Jew’s harps, no less varied than Northern Asia, which is the center of the international Jew’s Harp world. I am excited to be the opening act for the festival and join the masters on the second night. But the real deal is seeing old and new masters from the indigenous groups, Taiwanese musicians and lots of Jew’s harp enthusiasts in the audience. It will be two days in the fresh open air, near the center of Puli town, a great outing for music lovers.
Reserve your spots and sign up for special workshops and events early.
世界口簧琴音樂節
 
今年是台灣第一次舉辦世界口簧琴音樂節。自從我2003年來到台灣後,我一直著迷於台灣口簧琴文化的多元性。我也對台灣口簧琴在國際會議/藝術節上並沒有取得很大的地位而痛心。不過現在有陣新風潮吹起了,台灣的口簧琴死忠粉絲要讓台灣聽見口簧琴的聲音,也要讓國際聽到他的的聲音。今天因為疫情的關係,國際參與還不是很踴躍。但我相信未來,有很多人會為了參加世界口簧琴音樂節而飛來台灣。畢竟,東亞跟南亞的口簧琴文化都是很盛行的,這些地區的口簧文化多元性不輸北亞 (也就是國際口簧琴討論的重鎮)。我很幸運的擔任這次音樂節的開場嘉賓,也會在第二晚的時候跟大師們一起出場。這個音樂節的高潮將有原住民的大師 (年輕跟年長的) 為我們展演原汁原味的口簧琴文化、台灣音樂家、還有台下熱愛口簧琴的觀眾。活動為期兩天在埔里的天地之間。
我在建立我的檔案庫時,也找到2006年阿姆斯特丹國際口簧琴節的一個演後派對影片,裡面有很多歐洲跟亞洲的表演者,聚集在我阿姆斯特丹當時的公寓裡。
資訊: 世界口簧琴音樂節 World Jaw Harp Music Festival Taiwan | Facebook

 

Overtone Singing book Indiegogo campaign

It is ON now!
The fruit of many many years of work is ready to go to press.
All we need now is some backers to pay the dues and start getting this book into people’s hands, in about 2-3 months time!

GO HERE to (go to) INDIEGOGO.

 

Workshop Ocean of Voices

By popular demand, the workshop to sing your heart is back, in the same place in Central Taiwan where we have plenty of space to sing to and with and from the mountains, and a unique chance to go to the Bunun from XinYi and sing with them!

In three days we dive deep into the Ocean of Sound, Mark’s equivalent for the repository for musical sounds and spoken words humanity has produced across time and space. We uncover unknown traditions from around the globe, listen to examples and try out our own versions. You also learn how to create a traditional song (A lullaby? An invocation? A cheerful greeting song?) by yourself, or together, on the go. You already love to sing and already know your voice has so many shades. But only some of these shades find expression in everyday life, and now we expand this creative, sonic potential.

Join us for a celebration of the power of the human voice and of creative imagination lurking underneath the surface. Surely your ancestors knew folk songs, religious hymns, ceremonial chants: let them come back to the surface again, in a new guise. As the highlight of our exploration, the Bunun from XinYi are so kind to welcome us during their weekly singing session. You will have a chance to sing with them, up-close, and in this way you learn how they create their polyphonic songs and can try to join in with them. A first-hand immersion in one of the many living traditions of this beautiful island and a unique chance very few people have ever had!

 

DATES AND TIMES
Saturday October 22 (10 AM) – Monday October 24 (2 PM).

Check out the full blogpost for more details soon and our previous experiences with the Bunun here.

 

Voice Yoga Winter Solstice Retreat

22-25 December, Dulan
The popular Voice Yoga workshop, based on classes now going on for almost 10 years, in condensed, 4- day format.
This December’s special Winter Solstice retreat is now confirmed in our favorite spot in Dulan. Stay tuned for the details!
Read more here.

 

 

First Voice Yoga Retreat (full report)

At the end of 2019, in fact around the Winter Solstice on December 21, we did the first Voice Yoga Retreat here in Taiwan. A wonderful recollection of the best stuff I have done during my 7 seven years of weekly Voice Yoga classes. It was beyond expectation: fantastic weather, great location, wonderful students, and a great three-person-strong core team (Sunny Chen, Jackal Mei, me) to take care of everything.

 

 

Most of all, we all experienced a nice flow between yogic and other exercises, sound and body improvisations, eating cakes and drinking Jackal’s homebrewn coffee, meditating, listening, chanting, learning about my methods and ‘vision.’ People came from all over the place and all walks of life, and most were new to Voice Yoga.

One student, Guang Guang, wrote an excellent report in Chinese about everything we did, in Chinese. I reproduce it here, with an autotranslation at the bottom of this page. Jackal Mei made some great photos, and there’s a couple of myself too. Many thanks to Guang Guang and Jackal for the words and images, and to Sunny !

We’ll do another Voice Yoga Retreat later this year on the beautiful, relaxed East Coast of Taiwan, where the pace is slow, weather seems to be nearly always good, birds sing loudly and the ocean is never far away. Get on the maillinglist for updates.

 

 

/聲音瑜伽

因為身旁總是很多優秀的朋友,然後串成一條路徑,一開始是葉子跟我分享聲音,讓我在心裡種下了種子…
於是最近去體驗了一場聲音瑜伽,
授課的老師是教授泛音的馬克
我很喜歡他無私有愛的分享
且關照及感受著每一個我們
當第一堂課說
在這所發出的聲音都是當下要發生的
沒有好壞對錯,每個音都是對的…
讓沒有音感的我感到自在安心
第一個晚上
馬克很自然的就將大家的聲音一起融合在空間裡,讓彼此陌生的夥伴,很快的流動起來,只是短短的兩小時,我全身的細胞都在跳舞

/呼吸練習
在這個練習裡有很多要去感覺的東西,
我也在這個練習去練習感覺
呼吸的快慢,流向哪裡,擴張或收縮…
從沒思考這麼自然發生的事,
但最近這兩次的課程都在提醒著這件事,也就是當下

 

/母音三角形
很喜歡玩母音三角形
但在這裡面會發現自己的氣很短,
也會想配合其他人
在完美與協調之間理出自己的節奏
呼~吸~
烏~啊~一

/聲音的海洋
隨著模仿到自然而然的發聲,
讓自己的聲音丟進海洋裡
腦海會一直出現森林,池塘,水窪,沼澤,穹蒼,萬物,大地之聲
喜歡靜容分享的,她感覺身體自己發亮的地方想出聲,於是就讓那個聲音自己出來…
好有覺察的身體,我還在練習的路上

 

/深度聆聽
在戶外一起發聲,
聆聽空間裡擁有的音,跟隨
聆聽沒有的音,創造
在一來一往之間
做成了一首當代音樂
很喜歡這樣融合的旋律

/驚喜
圍一個圈,跟著馬克發出幾個音,
高高低低,閉上眼睛
幾個音沒有規則的發聲練習
然後由慢漸快,
馬克將桑尼推進圈內
在人圈中閉上眼享受旋律
馬克這時唱的越來越快
越來越具體
開始發現事有蹊蹺
打開眼睛望向馬克
他對我笑著示意
宛珍也早領略到了
沒錯,真的是我想的那樣
學員一個接一個笑開
桑尼終於意識到這一趴的別出心裁
流著淚接受大家獻唱
這一刻好感動
好美~好美~

 

/冬至熄燈
圍著蠟燭一起度過寧靜的夜,閉上眼四週充滿星星的感覺,那些包圍我們的自然之聲,好像墜落在草叢中發亮的星體,發亮的全是萬物的聲音

/薩滿儀式
同學藍師那一夜為大家進行薩滿旅程
第一次體驗儀式,薩滿鼓震出我全身電流,在守護靈的守護之下去感覺這個過程,叢林,速度,黑暗的旋轉,之後竄出來的蛇,最後讓自己慢慢抽離,見到一頭鹿而停止
宛珍被薩滿鼓招喚,以奔跑來流動
阿駱也隨之起舞,整個場域或坐或動
各有各的世界,奇幻世界~

 

/母音九宮格
深度覺察自己的聲音所在
共振的身體裡,聲音去到了哪裡?
馬克說
身體跟聲音會有共振的地方

意念也可以讓聲音去你想要他要去的地方
最後每個人的聲音震動,
都有不同的發現
這讓我覺得聲音太好玩了
每個人的身體感受都如此獨特

/呼吸節奏
呼吸長短的差異,
也能是一首悠揚的曲子
這個章節我也很享受
每個樂器的總和
就是一篇生命的樂章

/泛音獨唱
某個下午,馬克為大家唱歌
坐著,躺著自由
本來是陰天的午後
在一段泛音的旋律不斷繚繞時
我聽見的都是天使的聲音
此時
窗外金色陽光透進粉色的窗簾裡
天使光溫柔的灑在馬克身上發亮
那一個畫面我來不及拍照
但映在我腦海
我全身細胞都在舞蹈

/八部合音
每個人的聲音都好獨特好聽
曙芳的聲音裡有老靈魂的歌唱
想起她的守護靈老奶奶還有愛
輪到發踢卡時
是花神在唱歌吧!!!
清晰亮麗好感動
輪到我的時候,腦袋原本想運作
後來告訴自己算了
讓聲音是什麼就是什麼
雖然知道我聲音都沒到要去的地方
我的聲音之神都在幫我找音階
去了好幾個半音
後來才去到該去的地方
我也是可以說
那是我精準的控制我的半音啦(撥瀏海~

 

經過三天的玩耍
很鬆很慢也很奇妙的身體各種痠
沒意料只是出聲音而已
身體就有各種拉扯
但記得馨勻說的很好
(可我忘記她具體說什麼了XD)
但她說完我就一陣恍然
拉拉也分享了馬克在機械噪音裡
找出它規律的節奏
讓噪音不只是噪音

 

三天收穫很多,
也許我是還在餘震之中再慢慢感受
唯一最明白自己的部份
大概就是我還沒那麼放鬆自己吧
畢竟聲音對我來說太陌生
但經過這些過程
更能丟掉小時候對聲音的既定印象
聲音的顏色如此寬廣無限
告訴自己,就是玩,去玩吧!

聲音瑜伽,是瑜伽也是即興
祂不止是聲音,
是能讓心、靈與身體的合一

謝謝Yu Chih Lin帶我池上玩
謝謝Xiaoying Ye聲音的連結
謝謝Jackal Mei意志的邀約XD
謝謝Mark Van Tongeren
帶領著經驗自己的不可思議
讓我在這場聲音之旅中如此盡興…

#課後筆記
#聲音瑜伽
#樂吉昇天
#已被圈粉
#很好玩還要再玩

 

Autotranslation of the Chinese text.

 

/ sound yoga

Because there are always many good friends around me, then put into a path. at the beginning, the leaves share the voice with me, and let me plant seeds in my heart…
So recently, I went to experience a sound yoga,
The teacher who taught is the mark of the pan-Yin.
I love his selfless and loving sharing
And take care and feel every one of us
When the first class said
The voices made here are all about the moment.
There is no bad right or wrong, every voice is right…
Let me feel free to feel at ease
First night
Mark is very natural to mix everyone’s voices together in space, let each other’s strange partner, quickly flowing, just two hours, my whole body is dancing.

/ breathing practice
A lot of things to feel in this practice,
I am also practicing to practice the feeling
Where to breathe, where to go, expand or shrink…
Never thought about what happened so naturally,
But these two recent courses are reminding this thing, that is the moment.

/ vowel triangle
Love to play with the vowel triangle
But I will find myself very short in this,
Will also want to work with other people
Make your own rhythm between perfection and coordination
Oh ~ suck ~
Oh ~ Ah ~ one

/ the ocean of sound
With the imitation of a natural voice,
Let your voice be thrown into the ocean
The Forest, the pond, the water, the swamp, the swamp, the sky, everything, the sound of the earth.
Who likes to share quietly, she feels like she’s shiny, so let the voice come out on her own…
So conscious body, I’m still on my way to practice

/ deep listening
Voice together in the outdoors,
Listen to the sound of the space and follow
Listen to the sound of not, create
In the way.
Made a contemporary music
I love this fusion melody.

/ surprise
Surround a circle and make a few voices with Mark,
Close your eyes and close your eyes
A few sounds without rules
Then slowly,
Mark puts the nissan into the circle
Close your eyes in the circle and enjoy the melody
Mark is singing faster and faster
Getting more and more specific
Starting to find something wrong
Open your eyes and look at mark
He smiled at me
She has already learned it early.
Yes, it’s really what I thought
The students laugh at one after one.
Mulberry finally realized the chú le of this party
I am in tears to accept everyone’s singing
This moment is so touching
So beautiful ~ so beautiful ~

/ Winter Solstice Lights out
Surround the candles with a peaceful night, close your eyes with the feeling of stars, the sound of nature that surround us, like the stars that have fallen in the grass, the sound of everything.

/ sana ceremony
Classmate Blues on the night for you all the night
First experience ceremony, the sana drum burst out my whole body current, under the protection of the guardian spirit, I felt the process, the jungle, the speed, the dark spin, then the snake that came out, finally let myself slowly pull away, see one Deer stop
Lithuania was called by the drum of the drum to run
It also dance, the whole field, sitting or moving.
Every world, fantasy world ~

/ vowel
I am deeply aware of my voice.
Where did the sound go in the resonance body?
Mark said
Where the body and the sound will be resonance
But but
Ideas can also let the voice go where you want him to go
At the end everyone’s voice shakes,
All have different discoveries
This makes me think the voice is so funny
Everyone’s body feels so unique

/ breathing rhythm
The difference in the length of breathing,
Can also be a beautiful song
I’m enjoying this chapter too
The sum of each instrument
It’s a movement of life.

/ Pan-voice solo
One afternoon mark singing for everyone
Sitting and lying free
It was a cloudy afternoon.
While a pan-Tone Melody keeps on the these
All I hear is the voice of an angel
Right now
The Golden sunshine outside the window goes through the pink curtains
Angel Light gentle on mark
I didn’t have time to take pictures of that one
But in my mind
My whole body is dancing

/ eight sound
Everyone’s voice is so unique and nice
There is the singing of the old soul in the voice of the old soul
Thinking of her guardian spirit grandma and love
It’s my turn to kick the card.
Is the flower God singing!!!
Clear and beautiful, so touching
When it was my turn, my head wanted to work
Later I told myself to forget it
What makes the voice is what is
Even though I know my voice is not even where I’m going
My Voice God is helping me find the level
Went for a couple of semitone
I just went to the place where I should go.
I can say too
That’s my precision in control of my semitone (allocated ~

After three days of playing
Very Loose, slow and amazing body all kinds of sour
I didn’t expect it. It was just a voice.
The body has all kinds of pull
But remember that Xin Xin said very well
(but I forgot what she said XD)
But after she said, I just had a moment.
Lala also shared mark in mechanical noise
Find out the rhythm of its regular rhythm
Make noise not just noise

Harvest a lot in three days,
Maybe I’m still in the aftershocks and feel slowly
The only part that knows what I know most
Probably I’m not that relaxing myself yet
The voice is too strange to me after all
But after these process
It’s better to lose the established impression of the voice in my childhood
The Color of the voice is so wide and infinite
Tell yourself, it’s just to play, go play!

Sound Yoga is yoga and impromptu
He is more than a voice,
Is the one that makes the heart, spirit and body

Thank you Yu Chih Lin for taking me on the pool
Thank you Xiaoying Ye for the link
Thank you Jackal Mei for the invitation XD
Thanks Mark Van Tongeren
Leading the experience of my experience
Had me so much fun on this sound tour…

 

 

Ting Shuo Hear Say (Tainan): Performance 24 聽說有表演第二十四場

聽說有表演第二十四場 Ting Shuo Has Performance Twenty Four

2020.1.5 Sun. 週日
2 pm (入場 door open), 2:30 pm (開演 start performance)

@聽說 Ting Shuo Hear Say,台南 Tainan
表演票 Performance nt$300 (含一飲品 includes one drink)

\ duo:丁啟祐 Chiyou Ding [電子 electronics] +林育德 Yude Lin [電子 electronics]

\\ trio: 妙工俊陽 Miao Gong Jun Yang [自製樂器 self-built instruments]+Mark Van Tongeren [人聲 voice] + 林惠君 Hui-Chun Lin [大提琴 cello]

\\\ group: 妙工俊陽 – 自製樂器工作坊學員 Miao Gong Jun Yang – instrument building workshop participants [自製樂器 self-built instruments]

<<1/4 1~5pm 妙工俊陽 自製樂器工作坊
https://www.facebook.com/events/2530037220609071/
1/4 1~5pm Miao Gong Jun Yang – Instrument Building Workshop>>

———聽說有表演第二十四場藝術家 Ting Shuo Has Performance Twenty Four Artists———(English below Chinese)

::::丁啟祐 Chiyou Ding::::
https://soundcloud.com/chyod

丁啟祐,台北人,興趣於舞曲、電腦音樂和田野錄音。創作經歷以劇場、裝置為主。前兩個參與的製作: 薛詠之「柏拉圖的洞穴」聲音技術統籌、謝瀞瑩「聲洄」聲音編程。

Chiyou Ding is a sound hobbyist from Taipei. He is interested in the sound or music about rhythmic structure, computer related and field recording. He works mainly in theater and installation. The latest two productions he participated are Yung-Chih Hsueh’s “Plato’s Cave” in sound tech coordination, Olifa Hsieh’s “Sound-whirl” in sound programming.

::::林育德 Yude Lin::::
https://playreclabel.bandcamp.com/album/grgranrurr-playground-15-19

交通大學聲音音樂科技碩士學位學程畢業。擔任劇場、舞蹈、影像配樂,合作對象包括窮劇場、台南人劇團、柳春春劇社等;並為田孝慈舞蹈作品《洞》音樂設計,隨團參加2017亞維儂OFF藝術節、2018深圳當代戲劇雙年展;與鋼琴家李世揚合作、張婷婷獨立製作《抽屜三》、許雅婷《The River》配樂,擔任錄音、聲響設計。

He graduated from National Chiao Tung University with a master’s program of sound and music innovative technologies. Yude also created soundtrack for theater, dance, and video, working with theatre groups “Approaching Theater”, “Tainaner Ensemble”, “Oz Theatre Company”, etc. He soundtracked for Hsiao-Tzu Tien’s dance work “Hole”, and toured with the team in 2017 Avignon OFF and the 2018 Shenzhen Contemporary Theater Biennial. He also collaborated with pianist Shih-Yang Lee and produced the soundtrack for “Drawer Three” by Ting-Ting Chang, and he was the recorder and sound designer for Ya-Ting Hsu’s work “The River”.

::::妙工俊陽 Miao Gong Jun Yang aka 李俊陽 Jun-Yang Li::::

李俊陽自25歲起開始個人創作,至今超過15年,累積的作品包括繪畫(塗鴉水墨彩繪於各式材質)、木雕、鐵線塑型、大小型裝置、現成物改裝、拾得物重組、空間塗鴉、現場行為演出、偶戲編製、實驗戲劇,也參與過一些電視台廣告及戲劇節目的演出,還曾改過廟。俊陽的創作實踐是典型的台灣庶民與民俗養份充足的表現。

Jun Yang Li has been making work since the age of 25 and has been in the art field for more than 15 years. His works include painting (graffiti ink painting on various materials), wood carving, wire molding, large and small installations, modifying ready-made objects, reorganizing found items, graffiti on sites, and site-specific performance art, puppet making and performing, experimental theatre. He has also participated in some TV commercials and dramas, and even temple building. Jun Yang’s art practice is a manifestation of Taiwanese common people fed by folklore traditions.

::::Mark Van Tongeren::::
https://fusica.nl/?language=EN

交匯於科學與藝術範疇的聲音探索者Mark van Tongeren,主要以(荷麥)雙聲 / 泛音唱法聞名。早期的作品受到幾種經驗的影響,在圖瓦共和國的人種音樂學考察、蒙古喉唱與西藏低音唱咒研究、與安姆斯特丹實驗劇團Silo合作時擔任表演-錄音-聲音藝術家。之後,他加入Oorbeek即興樂團,並且與Michael Vetter學習跨媒介藝術。近期的作品包括與Superstingtrio演出的Incognito Ergo Sum, 以他做的曲Zeropoint進行的Overtone Singing馬拉松,以及與作曲家Paul Oomen合作的表演。

Mark van Tongeren is a sound explorer interested in the intersection of science and art. He is best known for his work as an overtone/throat singer. His early work was strongly influenced by ethnomusicological fieldwork trips to Tuva and by studies of Mongolian throat singing and Tibetan chanting, as well as by his role as a performer-recordist-sound artist with the Amsterdam-based experimental group Silo Theatre. He later joined the 7-piece improvisation band Oorbeek, and studied intermedial arts with the late musician and artist Michael Vetter. His recent work includes the performance Incognito Ergo Sum with Superstringtrio, and the Overtone Singing Marathon based upon his cycle of compositions Zeropoint, performed in collaboration with composer Paul Oomen.

::::林惠君 Hui-Chun Lin::::
https://huichunlin.weebly.com

林惠君,大提琴手。出生於台灣高雄,現定居在德國柏林。她從2008年開始製作音樂,從創作世界音樂,結合劇場,舞蹈到多媒體素材表演藝術到爵士樂多接觸。以音樂即興為主軸做作品創作,融合古典,傳統元素開創新的表演題材。活躍地並跨領域是她的專長,她的作品表達許多張力,突破極限,遊走在非主流音樂、實驗聲音領域。大提琴演奏外,人聲與肢體亦是她演出的項目。

Hui-Chun Lin is a musician who moves fluidly among work in avantgarde music, world music, jazz and improvisation and also performance. Her repertoire encompasses traditional, experimental and classical music in equal measure. Her musical work is concerned above all with sounding out the intersections, boundaries and connections among genres, epochs and cultures. Since 2011, she is a musician, performer and cello teacher in Berlin.

照片攝影 Photo credit: Mark by 蔡詩凡 / Shi-Fan Tsai。

贊助單位:財團法人國家文化藝術基金會
Sponsor: The National Culture and Arts Foundation

TingShuoHearSay Performance 24

 

 

New article online/World Listening Day

Yesterday it was World Listening Day, initiated by a Chapter of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology. This week people all over the world organise sound walks and encourage others to pay more attention to their ears.

Last week my article about a unique listening experience in Taiwan was published in the Journal of Sonic Studies. The whole issue is devoted to sounds in Southeast Asia, and covers many countries from north (China) to south (Indonesia and India).

My article neatly fits in the  appeal to listening from the organisers of World Listening Day, as it is the result of a near-constant interest in what I hear during the last three-four decades, nearly all my life. Not only to music, to be sure, but simply to everything I hear around me: whether I am in cities, nature, houses, cars or trains; whether I listen to radio’s, live concerts or my smartphone; whether the sounds are intentional or accidental.

I encourage anyone to open up their ears and share their listening experiences, just as Marcel Cobussen, one of the editors of the Journal of Sonic Studies, writes in his editorial. And I would like to ask Taiwan readers in particular to keep their ears open for birds imitating portions of the sounds of the garbage truck and report to me immediately if they do so!

You can read my article (and listen to it) here and find Marcel Cobussen’s ‘Encounters With Southeast Asia Through Sound’, an introduction to all the other contributions, here. Happy reading and listening!

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Singing with the Bunun

Recently my Resonance students – plus a few guests – joined the second Sound Journey. The first Sound Journey was about the Art of Listening, in Hsinchu. This time, we delved into musical traditions in an outdoor camping/guesthouse site in Puli, with fantastic views of the valleys and mountains of Nantou. The central event was a visit to the Bunun village of Mingder, now called Naihunpu (formerly Naifubo) in the Bunun vernacular. Here we were warmly received by mainly elder people (mostly 50+) of this small community. I visited them for the first time in 2005, when I stayed there for a few days, talking to them and recording their songs on audio and video. I was introduced to them at that time by Dr. Wu Rung Shun, the well-known expert on Taiwanese indigenous music and a recordist/compiler of the most extensive collection of published recordings from Taiwan, The Music of the Aborigines on Taiwan Island Vol. 1-9.

The Music of the Aborigines on Taiwan Island, Vol. 1: The Bunun

The Music of the Aborigines on Taiwan Island, Vol. 1: The Bunun

 

BununPasiButBut2005

Recording the Bunun of Naihunpu in 2005 (they gave me their dress to wear for the occasion).

In 2005 I was struck by the Bunun’s music, their hospitality and their willingness to share their music, dance and wisdom with me. But I had no opportunity to follow up on my visit for a long time. Last year I finally returned, meeting some familiar faces  and quite a few new ones too. I wasn’t just interested to learn more about their music for myself; I thought it would also be great if my students had a chance to experience their music. After all this music is always polyphonic, and it is more interesting to learn it together. So I asked the Bunun leaders if we could come over one afternoon to learn from them, and they agreed. They pointed out that they had Wu Rung Shun’s students visiting and that it was not easy to learn their songs. We were slightly uncertain as to how satisfying this would be for both parties. They had never worked with a group like ours, that is, a group of students that did not study music at the academic level. Perhaps we would not be able to make much of their music ourselves?

We came prepared: all of us had listened to the CD the Bunun from this village had recently produced, with a selection of their repertoire. And the evening before I had talked about different vocal styles and techniques and practised these with the group. We had also tried a Kyrie from Corsica, a polyphonic Christian song that I deemed appropriate to learn during this Easter weekend.
BununSeated

We were warmly received by a large group of about twenty people who were all introduced to us, and we all introduced ourselves to them. They were clearly very willing and eager to teach us about their music and perform for us. They insisted to change to their full traditional regalia of dresses, pants, headbands, earrings and carry-on bags, so they looked fabulous. Surprisingly, what seemed to be newly-made handwoven vests, turned out to be actually quite old, and worn for many occasions throughout the years. They took great care to maintain it.
BununFullRegalia
After watching several pieces performed by them, I asked if we could mingle and spread out between them, men between men, women between women. That would allow my students to better hear that each individual sings something different. After all, in a recording you hear many voices, but you are not really able to find out how one particular voice moves around in the polyphonic network. They readily agreed and so we could hear at close range what different voices do: a completely different experience than hearing the whole song, played back from a CD. Ten years ago I also recorded Amis songs this way, moving between the singers so as to get a clear picture of different individual voices. It was very revealing! Suddenly the chords jump to life all around you, like some kind of enhanced-dolby-5.1-stereo – much better than that in fact.

BununMixedWithUs

The meeting continued with more singing, sitting between the Bunun, absorbing the richnes of their musical patterns and imitating them. They asked us to sing our Corsican Kyrie for them, which my students dared to do, even though they had only learned it the day before. It was an approriate thing to do, as the Bunun are Christians and were actually very busy this time of year preparing for next day’s Easter Sunday celebrations (later that night they still went to church to prepare for it).
BununKyriePresentation
Later on, we saw and heard the men sing the Pasi But But: the most famous of Bunun vocal pieces. It is so unique in the world of music that it is hard to come up with any parallel. When I first heard a recording of the Pasi But But some 20 years ago, I thought of the music of György Ligeti, the contemporary Hungarian composer whom I listened to quite a bit at that time. The slow, draggingly-ascending lines, curled up into each other, make up for a  confusing sound experience, unlike most other types of polyphony (I also listened to hundreds of music traditions around the world, but the Bunun piece resembled none of them).

Thanks – again – to Wu Rung Shun’s PhD thesis of 1995, the mystery of this piece was revealed in all its fantastic detail, including all the meanings, terms, spiritual messages and other practices associated with it. With him and his colleague Dr. Chung Mingder and students at the Taipei National University of Arts we tried the piece many times. We often got lost in the steadily increasing flow of microtonal changes; sometimes we had some degree of succes; it was always intense and exhausting.

PasiButBut2ndSinger

Singing the Pasi But But

We were lucky enough – at least the four males of our group – to be invited to join their Pasi But But after they had done it. Again, each man of our group was surrounded by other men, and each in one of the four pitch-groups, holding hands and twisting arms firmly behind our backs. With the guidance of the experienced Bunun men’s strong, certain voices, there was little risk of messing this piece up, and indeed the three other men who never did it before got through it alright.
Finally, we shared more food, excited talk and some wine, as well as some Jew’s harp and mouth-bow playing to conclude our acquaintance.

BununPestlePlaying
Later that night, after we returned to the house on the mountain slope where we stayed, our group members unanimously rejoiced in this learning experience. Each for themsleves, they had made very different discoveries. One heard new songs that she had never heard before from the Bunun. Another said it was revealing to sing while being surrounded by several elders. A third was thrilled to feel the powerful voice of an aged, yet virile singer next to her. Another found out that the Bunun do not simply hit some notes here and there, but make certain patterns and still structure their pieces even though they improvise. Yet another marvelled at hearing the Pasi But But at close range, which is so different form a concert performance at a distance. One of the men of our group understood much better how this song worked after being taught to sing it with them.

BununSaniSuglumanBununOfferingDiang Nangavulan BununBilingDemuSq

My thanks to all the Bunun participants in the workshop, especially chief/chairman Diang Nangavulan (centre), Biling Demu (right) and Sani Sugluman (left).

 

 

Voice Yoga dates 2014

L1050442VOICE YOGA

In this class we use the voice in its immense richness, not only as a musical instrument, but as our primary tool to communicate and exist through/with/for/from sound. In Voice Yoga, sound, silence and resonance become a mirror for the self. The sounds produced by ourselves,  allows us to ‘see’ ourselves more clearly, to hear what’s living deep inside us. In ever-growing cycles of creating and perceiving we learn about music and sound, about ourselves and about the environment. A ‘quintessence of science, sound and self’ as I  called it in my book Overtone Singing.

DATES AND TIME FOR 2014

EVERY THURSDAY, 10-12 AM

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JANUARY,9/ 16/ 23/ 28

FEBRUARY,13/ 20/ 27

MARCH,6/ 13/ 27

APRIL,3/ 10/ 17/ 24

MAY,1/ 8/ 15/  22/ 29

JUNE,5/ 12/ 19

AUGUST,21/ 28

SEPTEMBER,4/ 11/ 18/ 25

OCTOBER,2/ 9/ 16/ 23/ 30

NOVEMBER,6/ 13/ 27  [no class on November 20]

DECEMBER,4/ 11/ 18/ 25

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PLACE
Canjune Training Centre, 4th Floor, number 3 , Lane 151, Fuxing South Road, Section 2, (this is about 20 meters from the corner of FuXing South Road, go up the stairs to the hairdresser and take the elevator to 4F; if you’re early the streetdoor may be closed). Nearest MRT: Technology Building (10 min. walk). Telephone training centre: 02 – 27 00 72 91.

RESERVATION
Please notify us of your intention to join the class, by sending a text-message (SMS) with your name to 09-10  38 27 49.

For those unfamiliar with Voice Yoga, the information about Voice of Dao posted earlier still stands.

Weekly Voice Yoga classes 2014

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