i’ve been a bit busy with a number of speaking and performance commitments recently, including the AAS in Asia meetings in Kyoto, a conference on the “labor of animation” at Academia Sinica, and a theater workshop in Laeno, an ‘Amis / Pangcah community near Makota’ay
At some point, i would like to post a sound diary of my trip through the thousand tori at Funishi Inari Taisha–it’s not a Taiwan piece but the sounds of the walk up the mountain appealed to me a great deal; and i ended up recording more than an hour of material. overall, the amazing quality of the walk was the marked contrast between the bustle of crowds close to the main shrine and the quiet as one moved further up the mountain, the sounds of labored breathing as people climbed the stairways up the hill toward the shrines highest up, sounds of water flowing through the mountain landscape, and the sounds of worship. the space was also a remarkably multilingual space, which makes sense considering that this is the most popular tourist attraction in Kyoto (and likely throughout Japan)
The theater workshop was interesting, and is still happening–i have to head back up to Makota’ay sometime tonight or tomorrow; however, it felt a bit distant from the work that I need to do here in ‘Atolan. This summer, filled with many different engagements, has been too busy to get much fieldwork done. Still, writing two papers and making a soundpiece for an exhibition is not bad for a couple months work!
Keep posted for more thoughts on the theater workshop and the sound diary of Inari Taisha
another academic year is coming to a close. what’s next?
well, on 3 may i am getting on a jet plane and heading back to taiwan, where i will set a version of the “walking the space of fifty steps with rahic talif” piece in a retrospective of rahic’s works at tunghai university
at the opening, i will also be giving a talk about rahic’s work and our collaboration. do come by if you are in taichung on 6th may
the summer schedule is filling up with a few events for which i am contributing sound recordings or talks: AAS in asia in kyoto, a conference at academia sinica on the “labor of animation,” and a couple other events
so it’s promising to be a busy and productive summer! will keep everyone posted here.
also–this summer, i hope to roll out the taiwan soundscapes blog as a group blog space. that may require changing the address of this blog or shifting posts around
sometimes rather than meeting in the office, it might be better to have coffee, look at art, or take a walk around the block…
at berklee, a set number of office hours are part of our contract. surprisingly, the figure of hours is very low–much lower than the informal expectations for office hours at other schools with which i am familiar. recently these hours have been in a bit of flux as well–i should say, where we can hold our office hours is in flux–as policies little observed have been enforced. one of my colleagues always held his office hours in a coffee shop appended to an independent bookstore nearby campus. although i have some of my office hours in my office, i also find it beneficial to be available for part of my office hours at a coffee shop off campus. partially, this has to do with my work practices, but there are other reasons having to do with space
so what was my colleague to do when the chair informed him that he could no longer hold office hours off campus? moving them to the office required negotiations with office mates
the past three months have been a time of mourning for me. during the first part of this year, a college roommate, an academic elder brother of sorts, and a dear colleague and mentor all took leave. the colleague, armsted christian, will be missed greatly here around berklee. it is up to those of us who remain to try to teach and create in ways that honor his memory
i first encountered armsted during a committee meeting. no–not armsted really; i should say, i encountered a piece of his writing.
serving on a committee for an annual conference on teaching and research at berklee, BTOT (berklee teachers on teaching), i read an intriguing proposal. it was a description of how to create what we would call in the overly bureaucratic-psychobabblist register common around university campuses these days a “safe space” for students to “engage in meaningful dialogue.” or was it? the proposal talked about the necessity of those of us on this side of the desk to exhibit concern, interest, and–no, he didn’t just use that word, did he?–LOVE (as i remember it, in screaming all caps) in our interactions with students
the session proposal was called “the love connexion.”