60 Minute Cities- Hong Kong
60 Minute Cities- Hong Kong
[Purchase includes audio track in Mp3 format and PDF with track descriptions.]
Audio Track Listing
Ligne de Fuite (60:00)
I was waiting for a bus in Wan Chai, and the routes I needed were suspended or shortened because of the protests. I looked up at the hazy sky and I saw a couple of black kites gliding among the glass towers. I walked up a pedestrian bridge and I started recording. I wanted to follow sounds in the same way the two birds soared on warm air currents. I decided to have no rules but one: moving as a wandering micro-ear-phone assemblage along the contour lines of chance. I passed through ambiences as they split up and slid past my stereo microphones, leaving as only trace two ephemeral contrails of sound on my left and my right. I glided up and down the fluctuating topographies of crowds, the shapes and breaks of pedestrian paths, the isoglosses of imperfect and fortuitous soundscapes. I would not stop walking, only allowing myself to slow down or accelerate in keeping with the pressure waves in my headphones.
I went up a hill through a Wan Chai street market ricocheting between the calls of hawkers, the shuffle of shoppers' feet, and RFID intereferences. I circled around small roads in Causeway Bay, guided by the hammering of metal tools and the blaring of radios and TVs in repair shops. I climbed the slope under a burst of rain, through a small temple clad in a cloud of humidity, along an old man pushing an empty handcart, until rhythmic church bells propelled me towards a mountainous road breathing with the pace of roaring traffic and echoes of construction work. I sled down a path across a rivulet, ending up in Admiralty, skirting empty streets and deserted barricades. It is October 3rd, 2014.
The constant note of Hong Kong is a high-pitched reverb tail of traffic and voices, doubled by a constant, distant bass propagating in swells along the concrete bones of old buildings. It is a sound that you cannot escape even when you take refuge in the most tranquil parts of Hong Kong Park. Itried to cancel it by walking behind a huge waterfall, or by climbing up the Vantage Point Tower, reaching the top only to discover that its roof functioned as a huge parabolic reflector collecting the sounds of the Central and Western District and focusing them on the microphones of my recorder, punctuated by drips of water and the calls of hundreds of birds inside and outside the Edward Youde aviary. Moving along the stainless steel wire mesh separating a legitimate luxuriant interior vegetation from the illegitimate open sky outside, I found the vector traced by my improvised line of flight slightly ironic: spurred by the sight two birds of prey and by imitating their glide to follow sounds, I ended up circling around an enclosure for tropical birds, a Special Administrative Region for a collection of flying creatures. A white parrot laughed on a tree.
About the artist:
Gabriele de Seta, also known as “Huzi Ge” (“Beard Bro” in Chinese). Moving around Europe and Asia, Gabriele hops back and forth from Chinese linguistics and cultural Studies to anthropology and media theory, and is now living in Taipei. He is currently studying practices of vernacular creativity in contemporary China. He collects, curates and narrates, the genres of user-generated content, local humor and platform specific aesthetics circulating across Chinese post-digital media ecologies. He also meddles with field recordings, experimental music, and Internet art. He recently completed a fully funded PhD in Sociology with a research project about Chinese digital folklore at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Department of Applied Social Sciences.
Since 2006 Gabriele has performed experimental music all around China, and has founded his own independent music label “Mostres par Excès” in 2007, releasing a series of experimental music works from China and beyond.