This is an era of auditory revival, in which we are searching for all-new possibilities. There is currently no lack of music but many people have forgotten how to “listen”. As we pay less attention to our sense of hearing, we become indifferent to and distant from the environment. This may lead to the seeking out of stimulation in empty voids, rather than the search for imagination and expectation. Therefore, learning how to listen is the most important lesson for the people of this generation.
717 Taiwan Listening Day is a civic movement. In this noisy era, we do not urgently discuss or debate points of view. We merely open our ears and listen to what has existed for much longer than us, the deep messages of the land. This is a cultural revolution of a new generation of Taiwanese. We want to show the world our cultural heritage and that we can tolerantly and humbly listen to faint and beautiful resonance. Moreover, this type of resolute energy can inspire people to connect with one another, to connect with themselves and to connect with the land, as well as to implement specific actions and practices that bring hope and change to the world.
同時邀請日本聲景協會理事長鳥越惠子教授來臺，參與《聽見聲音的地景：100種聆聽與聲音創造的練習》的中文書發表會，這是由「聲景之父」加拿大音樂家R. Murray Schafer所寫的著作，進而和台灣聲景協會進行各種交流。
The year 2017 marked the official start of 717 Taipei Listening Day, with the name “717”encouraging quiet to be able to listen. For the first Taipei Listening Day, the theme was “Quiet Place, Quiet Mood”. The focus was on Taipei’s development along the water. Deputy Mayor Teng Chia-Chi was invited to join members of the public on a boat ride along the Tamsui River. Using the perceptions and rhythms of Taipei residents of the past, they listened to the soundscapes and stories of Taipei, which was born from the riverside.
Moreover, the head of The Soundscape Association of Japan, Professor Keiko Torigoe, came to Taiwan to attend the launch of the Chinese-language translation of A Sound Education: 100 Exercises in Listening and Sound-Making, by R. Murray Schafer, a Canadian musician, who is considered the father of acoustic ecology.
For the 2018 event, the focus was on the city’s soundprint, in which the public gained an understanding of urban soundscapes. Just like fingerprints, soundprints are carved into the unique vestiges of history. As we explored above and below Taipei Bridge, an important transportation artery, we used our feet and ears to discover the life stages of the city.
The well-known human geography scholar Tuan Yi-Fu once said, “When a space feels completely familiar to us, it becomes a place.” In association with Listening Day, the Soundscape Association of Taiwan plans a series of soundscape listening events based on science, nature, culture and the arts to provide an impetus for society to progress and to promote change. It is hoped that through Listening Day interdisciplinary activities that city residents engage in different experiences and develop different viewpoints to enrich their perceptions of their living spaces and enhance local consciousness.
In 2019, along with C-LAB we expanded Listening Day from Taipei to include Taichung and Kaohsiung. Taiwan Listening Day was formally launched under the concept of “Listening Among Three Cities”. We also developed the theme of “From Zhongshan to Shanzhong”. At the same time, we incorporated the spirit of the theme of World Listening Day 2019, “Listening With”.
The concept of “Zhongshan” is that of post-colonial landscapes, from the very busy Zhongshan Road to the civic gathering venue Zhongshan Hall and Zhongshan Park, where witnessed the starting point of a city’s development. From this, we identified relevant locations and stories. What is of interest is that we made use of “Shanzhong”(in the mountains) to correspond to “Zhongshan” in the hope that people would search for natural elements in a cultural context. An attempt was made from the geographical environment and changes brought about by development to pay more attention to local features and viewpoints in soundscapes to promote emotional bonding with places and to elevate cultural innovation, as well as to bring about a sustainable and wonderful future.