a little quiet

it’s been a little quiet here on my personal blog for several reasons, busy, one could say. however, it’s also because writing has taken a decided back seat over the past three months to listening, recording, listening, and mixing. working as a sound artist for the past three months revealed discrepancies between my ethnographic practice, which i define primarily as writing, and art making practices. although i have kept fieldnotes and immersed myself in the life of mipudaway, someone who nets tiny fish fry in the river mouth, i’ve thought most about how to realize in sound the heart of this life and other kinds of life along the siugulan river. sometimes, the relationship is direct: one need only to make several clean recordings and mix them well. usually, one has to take a bit of a detour. if fishing from two or three in the morning until sunrise doesn’t have many sonic indices, the way to evoke this life requires symbol: perhaps it is a set of stories about mipudaw or other linguistic symbols. but it might also be sounds which, once taken from their original indexical context by recording and mixing, serve in the work as an evocation

i’m never really sure to what extent what might work for me as a symbol will work for an audience, though. last year my piece on pacifalan tried to create this kind of symbolic network exploring the relationship between place and diverse ethical and political experiences by juxtaposing sounds that for an ‘atolan ‘amis audience would evoke the mikulakul (warriors’ dance) and colorful umbrellas once carried by mikulakul. this connection was lost on many in the non-‘amis audience–at least on the judges, who did not know why the umbrellas were part of the installation. and this year, i am trying to work exclusively in sound, leaving the visual elements, if there are to be visual elements, to local artists with whom i collaborate. so the question of how to work with schizophonic sources somewhere between the iconicity of documentation and the abstraction of musique concrete weighs on me as i construct sound pieces

this year, the work has also been more focused on non-human sounding, such as water in different states of flowing, dripping, coalescing, and transforming the landscape. overall, it’s been an exciting three months. for a listen to a few of the outcomes, do visit the taiwansoundscapes.org site or my soundcloud (shoutacre)

faloco’ no taradaw

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