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Forecast Friday, 15th of February 3pm Taiwan time

On this third broadcast Datscha Radio Taipei will focus on aspects and correlations between the practices of experimental ethnography and listening culture. Studio guests will be the ethnographer and musician Gabriele de Seta, the Philippine composer Christine Muyco, and Taipei experimental sound art artist Yu Li (the Sound Watch project)

How is our sound world imprinted by culture? Are there different concepts of nature, noise and silence? How does research look like in the field of sound ethnography? Our broadcast “The Ethnographic Ear” will take up these topics; we’ll play an “Imagination Game” and also introduce the works of selected artists who submitted to Datscha Radios Open Call, spiced up with some traditional Fulao folk songs from Taiwan Island. The broadcast will close with two longer works opposing the spheres of public and private / noise and silence. Times given below are tentative!

15:00 – 15:45
Gabriele de Seta and guests: Introduction of work. Discussion and selected recordings

15:45 – 16:15
Introduction Open Call Works and work Christine Muyco: Funeral songs from Togo/Africa by Uli Wiegand, radiophonic composition “Trajectories” by Peter Bernard. Composition by Christine Muyco

16:15 – 16: 30 Imagination Game. With all studio guests.
16:30 – 16:45: Time for surprise studio guests. Sound Watch acoustic presentation
16:45 – 17:00: Last piece by Gabriele de Seta, closing questions.

17:00 – 17:30: Resounding Bangalore. A sound expedition, by raw audio

17:30 – 18:00 The Tree Rain Stops Moments, by Chelidon Frame

  • Date: Fri. 15th FebruaryTime: 3 pm Taiwan (8 am CET)Location: Terrace of Artist Studio 4-4, Treasure Hill Artist Village, Taipei
  • Time: 3 pm Taiwan (8 am CET)
  • Location: Terrace of Artist Studio 4-4, Treasure Hill Artist Village, Taipei

Gabriele de Seta is a media anthropologist currently based in Taipei, Taiwan. His research work, grounded on ethnographic engagement across multiple sites, focuses on digital media practices and vernacular creativity in East Asian societies. He is also interested in experimental music scenes, internet art, and collaborative intersections between anthropology and art practice. More information is available on his website http://paranom.asia

Maria Christine Muyco is Associate Professor 5 of the Composition and Theory Department, College of Music, University of the Philippines. Composed for voice, European instruments like cello  and piano, but also for electronic music, percussion, musical saw. Has been taking part in Festivals and conferences all over the Globe. Hungary, Brussels, Vietnam, Israel, Japan…

Website: https://music.upd.edu.ph/MARIA_CHRISTINE_MUYCO.html



Additional studio guests will be (prospectively) the Philippine composer the experimental musician Yu Li from the collective Soundwatch. Yu Li will introduce some of the DIY electronic sound gadgets, giving us a foretaste of what we can expect on Datscha Radio’s final broadcast on 10th of March.

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Last week, it took me three hours of travel across the city in order to purchase a heavyweight black lump labeled transformer. The result was – finally – a flawless rendering of our microphones in use. I hope you noticed! In case you haven’t because your didn’t listen to Datscha Radio’s second broadcast from Taipei, here comes a quick summary.

Wu Tsan Cheng must be inevitably known as soon as you click on aporee’s sound map of Taiwan. And it is not by the sheer number of recordings uploaded there that would be a phenomenon by itself, even more exciting is the artful quality of his field recordings. I was lucky enough to have him as my first guest and our talk dealt with his extensive work, the „semi-natural“ intricacies of field recording and introduced some (not enough!) of his pieces.

In preparation of this second show I had spent two nights in the city of Yilan, an hour of bus ride away from Taipei, to meet the artist and farmer Yang Hauyu. We went to his family’s farm and had a long talk about the ways in which organic farming (which is not so usual in Taiwan) and artistic work can convene. An excerpt of this talk was broadcast and the subsequent degustation of homemade rice wine led to reading of a (truly spirit-induced) rice wine poem written by my neighboring resident Rewat Panpipat.

Hauyu Yang

This formed a felicitous transition to the next live guest, Pi Erny. Erny is the son of Cassandra, one of the micro-loft artists here, and he is specialized – despite his young age – in the manufacturing of fruit wines. His favorite is wine made from the dragon fruit (Pitaya). It has a deep red color and a very sweet and slightly tangy taste. He also brought some plum wine to savor: Best I ever tasted so far!

Absolutely noteworthy in all these talks with Taiwanese artists and guests is the translation support rendered by Charlotte/Ming Chun of the THAV’s office who generously helped out with her proficiency whenever words went missing! Thank you, Charlotte!

Dragon fruit talk

A prerecorded talk with enchantingly lively Mr. Hu, the eldest inhabitant of the village, followed. 50 years ago, Mr Hu came over from the mainland as a soldier to stay here with the much more peaceful mission of building his own house, starting a family and dedicating himself to studies of ancient Chinese history and song lore. This very special occasion had been facilitated by Ms Catherine Lee, director of TAV, who also translated for me.

Mr. Hu with his two daughters in the 60s

Meeting Mr. Hu occurred within the frame of the villager’s feast that same evening, on the 26th of January. Every two months, the THAV staff, the artists and the local residents meet for a festivity that involves plenty of food and plenty of Karaoke singing. Consequently (since I recorded some of this), the remaining time of the broadcast was filled with the tunes of popular Taiwanese songs.

She was the best!!
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This upcoming Wednesday, Datscha Radio will focus on issues of field recording, farming and life in the village. The sound mapping artist Wu Tsan Cheng will be my studio guest and will present a selection of some of his finest field recordings.

Wu Tsan-Cheng

A trip to Yilan sprouted a talk and/or audio walk with the performance artist and gardener Yang Hauyu. And we will explore life in the village a bit further, featuring fruit wine recipes and a guided walk introducing some of the historical trees in Treasure Hill. Last but certainly one of the highlights will be a talk with the villages’s oldest inhabitant, Mr. Hu – first photo above – , who is also a passionate singer. Translations by Catherine Lee, director of Treasure Hill Village.
And we’ll close the show with a vocal bouquet of Karaoke songs, recorded on the 26th of January.

Time: 3 pm (Taipei time); 8am (Berlin time)
Date: 30th of Janurary
Location: Treasure Hill Artist Village, Studio 4-4

All of this is still in the making, so changes in the schedule might occur.

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The day started with an expedition into the audio equipment world of Taipei: A broadcast-compatible second microphone was missing. To cut a long story short: Hero of my day was a young man called Wu Weida who led me from one Hi-Fi shop to another and finally to a stand in a market hall where I happily acquired the item.

Here come come pictures from our broadcast. The day was overcast and slightly fresh, therefore I decided not to move onto the terrace but stay inside my living room. Radios were tucked to nearby trees and marquees, and the scent of the freshly bought tuberoses wafted through the air.

A teacher came too with her class

Mabel Wang’s and Eli Liang’s musical inserts were a highlight. Both are trained musicians and the pieces they played belonged to the lore of traditional Taiwanese music. I still feel honored.

Mabel Wang at the Guzheng.
Eli Liang grew up in a family of flute players

THAV’s managing officer Charlotte explained in her talk how the village of Treasure Hill evolved. The artist village has hosted more than 500 artists since 2002. Meanwhile different people flock in and out of the studio: THAV’s new interns and artist’s friends mostly.

Charlotte Ming Chung and I
The stream works, says Gabriele de Seta

The Italian ethnographer and artist Gabriele came with Ping, a puppeteer. She brought a youtube list of Taiwanese flower songs, some from the early 40ies, some more like 80ies. The flower in the culture here is always always a symbol for the female… many songs speak of flowers “in the rain”, “at night”, falling petals, or the other way around, of coming to bloom.

Ping and her sister during the set

Ping’s DJ-set was followed by another concert by Mabel and Eli, and the recording of an interview with the Thai poet Rewat Panpipat who lives next door and is the only other artist resident from abroad in this village. All the time I was glad to find that our little radios outside picked up perfectly the transmitter signals. And evidently also the streaming radio worked :)
The broadcast closed with the give-away of the “radio carrots” to the artists and a sip (or two) of fine whiskey. Which makes me think of the fruit wines being manufactured by Cassandra, one of the local artists next door. But that’s already for the next broadcast.

More pictures will follow here, bear with me,

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For the next seven weeks, Datscha Radio will plant its ‘radio day’ each on a different week day, progressing from its first broadcast on Tuesday, the 22nd of January. The location will be my terrace in the Artist Village of Treasure Hill, Taipei, Artist Studio No. 4.

I am happy to say that I have the great luck to collaborate here with the Italian ethnographer and experimental sound (and radio) artist Gabriele de Seta. Apart from assisting with tech and sound, he will also help with translations as he is a fluent speaker of Mandarin.

We’ll broadcast on stream via datscharadio.de, but also locally via micro-FM transmitters. This means that you can bring your radio, maybe find a place in the vicinity, sit down, listen and relax. The frequency is not yet decided upon, you’ll find it published in due time on this blog and social media.

Our forecast for the 22nd of January
Live concerts: Mabel Wang (Guzheng – Chinese zither) and Ely Liang (Dizi – Bamboo Flute)
Talks: Charlotte Ming Chun, Catherine Lee (THAV and TAV representatives)
Field recordings: raw audio
Selected interviews: Audio walk through the Village led by Lily Liu
Rewat Panpipat (Poet); Orachacorn (Editor)

Gardening is not about keeping schedules and plants don’t grow by the clock. Rather they follow their inner rhythms, they react to weather conditions, they communicate with fellow plants, living beings and matter in their environment. Gardening is most of all about caring and spending time with your surroundings. This newly planted radio garden in Treasure Hill invites you to come, listen, to contemplate, share and participate.

As we want to make this place as beautiful and flowering as possible, you may donate unwanted pot plants, flowers and/or vegetables :)


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Yesterday I received great help for our jingle, – and the writing in the picture, „Hua yuan dian tai“, means „garden radio“.

I owe my thanks here to Yi-Chun Liu/Lily, Mabel Wang, Ming-Chun Cheng/Charlotte and Alice who lent their voices to the recording. And to Catherine Lee, director of the AIR program Treasure Hill Village, for her enthusiastic support. Catherine also explained that the word „datscha“ sounds very much like „Let’s go“ in Chinese. We also recorded an extra male voice for the jingle, the one of Yi-Wei Tsai, presenting Datscha Radio Taipei with an awe-inspiring laugh…

Catherine Lee. It’ grape harvesting time in Taiwan now.

Tracks will be soon online!

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Taipei’s flower market is located under the protective rain shield of a flyover about 100 meters from Daan Park. It’s Sunday, but the hall is not too crowded. White arrows on the ground direct the flow of the masses into the right direction. So, first look at everything to the right, and on your way back onthe left. Hasty lane-changing leads to a little confusion, but is possible. Almost everything is here to discover : Water-steam machines, fertilizers, garden tools, soil, aquarium supplies, young dogs (in pink cages), seeds, pots and vessels of all kinds and of course flowers and plants for house and garden, mainly the latter.

One thing that strikes me, is the relative silence in comparison to the London flower market: no barkers, no screaming, not even with the countless special offers for orchids. I am glad that I am not an orchid specialist, otherwise I would have shed tears of delight. There are exquisite selections of „lady’s slippers“, young plants of special varieties, cascading flower stems in light yellow and aubergine, darkly speckled pharynxes, mysterious root pieces and lots of smaller „home plants” from 50 TWD (ca.1, 60 Euro). The prices for more splendid specimens go from 200 to 450 TWD and I feel very tempted.

Roughly speaking, the flower market can be divided into the sections orchids, succulents, ferns and epiphyts, camellias and bonsai (they really don’t belong together, but they are often grouped together), plants for the herb and vegetable garden and “showy perennials“, among them above all asters, pericallis and tailflowers as well as snap dragon, some roses and delphiniums. The stalls offering western spring flowers attract evidently delighted woman customers: There are hyacinths in full bloom and bulbs of daffodils. All of these are comparatively expensive.
Taipei flower lovers also seem to share an obvious liking for decorative Chichi, especially in aquaristics…

Coming to seeds, I search for Asian flowers, but there’s nothing there. Maybe because everything grows here almost by itself? The assortment – apart from garden vegetables – is almost the same as in Western stores, although a bit more limited: sunflowers, cosmea, Sweet William, autumn asters.

Garden tools are a story for themselves. To my astonishment, Western product names are abundant. Yet, much more interesting are the super-stable steel rakes, garden knives and shovels, which lie heavy in my hand and unfortunately would increase the weight of my suitcase considerably.
Tea is also sold: First, by the cup, being filled from huge steel vessels, secondly also in packages. Happy, I cram 300 grams of Oolong into my bag.

In the middle part of the hall, young dogs (and cats) are sitting in cages and I feel sorry for them. The seller tries to pull one of them out for a potential customer by grabbling its paw, and it seems to me that the animal here is viewed just as a living object.
In general, the dogs being walked here in the streets are often adorned with extravagant hairstyles and/or clothes. Being a dog groomer seems to be a profitable profession in Taipei. Also, it is not uncommon to transport dogs in buggies, for whatever reason..

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(Translation follows) Treasure Hill Artist Village im Zhongzheng Distrikt Taipehs liegt nahe am Fluss, über dem ein Wirrwarr an Flyovers und Zufahrten die Lüfte kreuzt. Dahinter: grüne, in Wolkendunst gehüllte Berge. Auf dem Weg zum Ufer liegen die Gemüsegärten der Dorfbewohner: Etwa 19 Familien teilen sich das Viertel von Treasure Hill mit heimischen und auswärtigen KünstlerInnen.

Während die Einheimischen vorwiegend ihre Nutzgärten pflegen, ist die gesamte Anlage nicht weniger auch geprägt von „Picknickorten“, Wandelgängen und einer Vielzahl versteckter Mikrogärten. Was von den alten Fliesen geblieben ist, mit denen Plätze, Betonwände und Terrassen gekachelt sind, zeigt meist Blumenmotive. Die Dächer begrünen sich von allein…, aber einige Dachgärten wurden doch mit Absicht angelegt. Mauern und Wände sind bewachsen mit Farnen, Winden, Moosen und kleinen Steinbrechgewächsen. In Töpfen stehen Zitronen- und Mandarinenbäume, Hortensien, Wandelröschen, Azaleen und Kamelien. Kohlweißlinge sind unterwegs, weshalb die meisten Kohlköpfe sorgsam unter Fließ gehalten werden. Ein Teich, eine Seerose und viele Mücken auf einem Pfad, der bereits hinter das Dorf führt, in einen weitaus ungeordneteren Garten unterhalb der historischen Fassaden der Bunker. Dort finde ich auch ein Exemplar der indigoblau blühenden „Schmetterlingserbse“. Eine Pflanze, deren Name, Clitoria ternatea, quasi selbsterklärend wäre, wenn es sich hier nicht um eine gefüllte Variante handelte.

Eating the blossoms of this plant is said to increase intelligence and beauty…

Nun ein paar Treasure Hill Gartenansichten:

(Translation follows) Treasure Hill Artist Village im Zhongzheng Distrikt Taipehs liegt nahe am Fluss, über dem ein Wirrwarr an Flyovers und Zufahrten die Lüfte kreuzt. Dahinter: grüne, in Wolkendunst gehüllte Berge. Auf dem Weg zum Ufer liegen die Gemüsegärten der Dorfbewohner: Etwa 19 Familien teilen sich das Viertel von Treasure Hill mit heimischen und auswärtigen KünstlerInnen.

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