Presenting the Diversity of Sound—2021 C-LAB Sound Festival: Diversonics
Premiere of Experimental Version of C-LAB and IRCAM’s First International Co-production
The 2021 C-LAB Sound Festival: Diversonics opens on November 12. Taking place over two weeks, it is comprised of five units: Contemporary Selection, Concert Films, Academy, Sounds of Contemporary Dance, and Installations and Performances. C-LAB Taiwan Sound Lab invited collaboration on 18 diverse and cross-disciplinary contemporary music and sound art works, with nearly 90 creators and performers participating. They have continued to create works during the pandemic and, with conditions improving, can finally present their works to the public. Among them is the experimental version of The Insomnia Sketchbook (2020/2021), the first international co-produced work with the Institute for Research and Coordination in Acoustics/Music (IRCAM), France, which has been in development for nearly two years and is expected to bring unique listening experiences to all.
Experimental Version of The Insomnia Sketchbook: Creating a New Performance Vocabulary
In 2019, C-LAB Taiwan Sound Lab entered into an agreement with IRCAM on their first co-produced work entitled The Insomnia Sketchbook. Since then, Taiwan’s LuxuryLogico and Italian composer Andrea CERA have collaborated closely online to create a kinetic installation that integrates music and mobile light devices, with pulsing light and stereo sound field forming a micro-narrative. In a theater without performers, elements of performers and stage are condensed into light and sound and translated into emotions, narratives, and behaviors, creating a new performance vocabulary and form in which the audience is surrounded in sound and light. Based on the concepts of cross-disciplinary hybridization, LuxuryLogico explores a diversity of forms and content, such as music, visual effects, mechanical installation, and text, resulting in harmonious and captivating works that combine culture and technology.
For this presentation of The Insomnia Sketchbook, the spatial sound field is designed by IRCAM and implemented by C-LAB’s Taiwan Sound Lab. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, foreign sound creation teams have been unable to come to Taiwan to participate in on-site exhibition, performance, and tuning. Therefore, the premiere of this experimental version involves online coordination. The official premiere is scheduled for next year in Paris, France.
Interdisciplinary Collaborations: Exploring New Avenues for Contemporary Music and Sound Art
Contemporary Selection includes pianist LU Chia-Hui’s original composition, Butterfly Orchid, accompanied by 3D animations of paintings by Paul CHIANG, resulting in the clever interweaving of abstract and concrete. This work has received international recognition, such as Honorable Mention for Sound Design at the Los Angeles Film Awards. NanaFormosa Percussion Duo’s Born from Chaos includes two instrumental shorts from Brazilian composer Rodrigo BUSSAD’s KHAOS. For this festival, two newly created contemporary music pieces, YANG Tsu-Yao’s Après Hashtag and CHEN Chia-Hui’s Imperceptibilité de l'agitation, have been added in the performance. Moreover, Twincussion Duo presents a repertoire of contemporary works that integrate electronic rock, magicalism, and minimalism. There are also two new contemporary musical works based on stereo sound field planning and design. In Illness2, composer Lily CHEN uses music to construct people’s anxieties and dreamlike states, and in Songs of Desolation, composer LUO Fang-Wei transforms poetry into music to examine the meaning of existence.
As part of the Concert Films unit, Une page folle/A Page of Madness, jointly produced by IRCAM and Musée National d'Art Moderne-Centre Pompidou of France makes its Taiwan premiere. Working with the Taiwan Film and Audiovisual Institute, the Chinese-language Silent Films Composition Project was developed. LIU Hui-Wen and LIN Wei-Chieh were selected and WANG Sue-Ya was invited to compose music for silent films. Through the creation of contemporary music and sounds and the re-creation of images, classic Chinese-language silent films are given new lives.
The Sounds of Contemporary Dance unit encompasses four new C-LAB co-produced works creating new viewing and listening experiences, such as SU Wen-Chi X YiLab’s Black Hole Museum + Body Browser, which integrates stereo sound field, dances, and VR images, and Hsu Chen Wei Dance Company’s Sunboom 2021, which incorporates contemporary electronic music, live instrumental music, and dance performances. C-LAB also co-produced two works with the National Taichung Theater. In Co-Existence, developed by street dancer HUNG Yi-Po and composer HSIEH Hsien-Te, the cyclical dynamics of everyday environments form the creative core, exploring the subtle changes occurred in the interactions between the body and sounds in a space through the co-creation by the dancer and the sound artist. In their work, The Sun, TIAN Zi-Ping and William KUO make use of ring lasers, mechanical aesthetics, and dances to explore the coexistence of machines and the flesh.
In addition to The Insomnia Sketchbook, the Installations and Performances unit includes Crystal Seeding, which is part of the synchronous exhibition Future Media Arts Festival. This work was developed by artists HSU Chia-Wei, CHENG Hsien-Yu, and CHANG Ting-Tong based on research conducted at the Huwei Sugar Factory in Yunlin County. Composer HUI Tak-Cheung created the music, while Taiwan Sound Lab provided 3D sound equipment for recording sound samples and soundscapes of the Huwei area, reflecting on the techniques of staged photography and theatre experiences in a historical site. Fujui WANG’s Throbbing Sonic 2.0 is presented on C-LAB’s upgraded Sound Studio 3, which endows the work with more layers of sound expression and more refined audio perception.
The C-LAB Sound Festival: Diversonics is entering its second year, presenting multiple aspects of contemporary music and sound art creation through live performances and interdisciplinary collaborations in dances, films, and installations. This year, students and teachers from National Taiwan Normal University, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University, Taipei National University of the Arts, and National Tsing Hua University have been invited to produce five programs, injecting this festival with vitality and stimulating the imagination and practice of a new generation of creators. Lectures are also planned for creators to share their experience, in hopes of breaking through the public’s conceptions of art boundaries and expanding the understanding and imagination of music, sound, technology, and cross-disciplinary art collaborations to produce the energy needed to support Taiwan’s contemporary music and sound art development. In addition, the abridged version of The ManiFeste festival and academy and Forum programs are available online to ensure the continuation of international exchanges during the pandemic.