sound scoop 細聲公 @ Happy Mount Colony from Bali, Taiwan 台灣八里的「樂山教養院」
About Happy Mount Colony 關於樂山教養院
The 81-year-old “Happy Mount Colony” was established by the British missionary, Dr. George Gushue-Taylor in 1934. It was formerly specialized in sheltering and taking care of the patients who suffered from leprosy. Later on and due to the advance in medicine, the patients gradually recovered or passed away. In 1971, “Happy Mount Colony” has transformed into a home for the mentally disabled children, now offers 132 mentally disabled people with residential care services for 24 hours.
About Sandwishes Studio 關於三明治工
“Sandwishes Studio” is a company which caters the needs of social welfare organizations and enterprises in art design and social welfare projects. “Happy Mount Colony” is its first collaborating unit which combines elements of art and social welfare in the project.
As the first stop for “overseas soundscoop”, members from the “Sandwishes Studio” have picked the “24-hour field recording” collected in Hung Leng, New Territories by the Library team. And further, they cut, chose and placed four tracks from the recording to four black loudspeakers. These sounds, from a strange and foreign place, are yet similar to the residents’ living environment at “Happy Mount Colony”- it is backed by mountains, with a large grass plain, trees and a farm that is used for Horticulture Therapy. To the residents, the sounds from the black loudspeakers are like secret codes that yet to be discovered, and through their listening experiences can they be imagined and interpreted.
From sound to the imagination of sound
“Sandwishes Studio” has invited four residents to participate in the “Growing sounds” project. The following features the workshop moments.
At the beginning of the workshop, we took out four black loudspeakers.
The residents closed their eyes, listened to the sounds from the loudspeakers and described what they could hear. Some of them heard the sound of rain. Notably, when we all listened to a track, we thought that it is the sound of stones rolling, yet all of the residents replied that it is the sound made by firecrackers.
Xiaoting has rich experience in travelling. This time, he named the sound of train that he heard as his exclusive “Strange Uncle Express”, and the train model as “GP 125”.
Overlapped soundscape – Hung Leng & Happy Mount
When the drawings were ready, we stuck them on the respective black loudspeakers.
Each resident brought their own loudspeaker, and went to the place chosen by themselves at “Happy Mount Colony”, one-by-one and respectively. We invited them to stand at their chosen places with their own drawings, and express in their own way, what they have heard from the loudspeaker.
Xiaozhi: It is like the sound of firecrackers in the box.
And that made Xiaozhi to think about the hustle and bustle around Liao Tianding Temple near “Happy Mount Colony”. He drew firecrackers, fireworks and “Happy Mount Colony” – his favourite home.
Xiaoya: “Coo-coo-coo” continues to arise from this sound box, it is just like at night, there is an owl standing at the top of a tree, waking and looking around.
Xiaohui (smiling cheerfully): When listening to the natural sounds from the sound box, I am like a bird flying over “Happy Mount Colony”; a puppy barking nearby and the moving traffic outside.
He chose the parking lot next to the main building. He acted as the train captain with his train in his hand. First, he gave an announcement to the passengers about the journey. Then, he drove the train and brought us to the “Main Building Station”.
At the end of the workshop, we interviewed Xiaoting about this experience, he said the overall journey was good, and there was only a little unsmooth when stopping the train.