《TAIPEI TIMES》 White noise to represent the nation in Cannes

2017-12-24 03:00

/ Sta博客來網路書局ff writer, with CNA

Two Taiwanese earlier this month launched a campaign titled “Listen To Taiwan,” which seeks to present the nation in a new way by turning environmental sounds into white noise soundtracks.

The approach could help increase global interest in the nation, which is often excluded from international events and seen as “voiceless,” campaigners Chuang Chih-yuan (莊智淵) and Fan Chun-ta (范君達) said.

Chuang said they chose white noise as a medium because the type of sound, which has a similar intensity at different frequencies, has become a popular genre worldwide and is used to mask distracting sounds for relaxation.

“People can listen to the white noises of Taiwan while they are working, sleeping or relaxing, as if they are surrounded by Taiwan,” the 29-year-old advertising agent said.

To generate the track, Chuang and Fan, 27, spent about a month visiting famous spots that are generally better known for their sights than sounds.

The locations included Laomei Green Reef (老梅綠石槽) on the north coast, as well as Elephant Mountain (象山) and Shilin Night Market in Taipei.

At Laomei, where waves have carved volcanic lava reefs into strange shapes, Chuang and Fan tried to capture the sound of waves lashing the shore combined with seasonal northeasterly winds.

At Elephant Mountain, they recorded a diverse combination of sounds, including fountain palm trees, tree frogs and white-eye birds.

Shilin Night Market provided the most unusual source, with the sounds of footsteps, laughter, conversation and cooking.

The recordings were turned into a one-hour soundtracks, supported by soft background music with the respective themes “sleep,” “relax” and “focus.”

The free soundtracks have attracted thousands of listeners 博客來網路書店since they were uploaded online.

Chuang and Fan said their biggest challenge was traveling to remote areas to record natural sounds without human interference, and that they are currently brainstorming other locations to record.

The next step is to solicit noise recordings from members of the public to produce an album called Selected White Noises From Taiwan for distribution through online music streaming services like Spotify and SoundCloud, Chuang said.

“It will be the first time a white noise album has featured a nation,” Chuang said.

“From now on, we want the world to not only see Taiwan, but to also listen to Taiwan,” he added.

The campaign has won recognition from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the two are to represent Taiwan at next year’s Cannes Young Lions Competition in France.







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