“Being a recordist who has traveled around Taiwan over the past 20 years, I am fascinated by the diversity of nature’s melodies in this land. I have been making sound recordings for many years at Menghuan Lake at Yangmingshan National Park, a very important wetland in Taiwan. Many people who visit this attraction know that there is an endangered plant called Isoetes taiwanensis, but they are unaware that there is a native species of frog known as Taipei tree frog, named after the city. The Taipei tree frog has existed here for longer than humans, and their sound is unique to Taiwan, but how many people have heard of this creature?
In fact, the sounds of nature reflect specific ecological conditions and characteristics. Taiwan’s geographical location and environmental characteristics have not only created a diverse natural landscape, but also a rich melody of life. Some of these sounds can be heard from animals, others are ambient sounds created by the special terrain, but they are all local Taiwanese sounds. Especially in the mid-to-high-altitude environment of Taiwan, if we listen carefully, you will be amazed that in a forest, you can hear the sounds of half of the northern hemisphere, all gathered on this island. Their sounds will converge and resonate here, demonstrating how wonderfully fascinating and inclusive the land of Taiwan is.
Over the years, I have noticed that the sounds of the environment are changing and even disappearing, but most people don’t realize it because they don’t even know the existence of these sounds. I wonder, if more people were as aware of these sounds as I am, would these animals be more protected and be able to live well on this land? As a nature recordist, I hope that through these natural melodies I can invite you to open your ears and listen to the sounds of our land again. Through the Taiwan Nature Sound Map project, we have received a grant from the Keepwalking Dream Grant program. The Soundscape Association of Taiwan has chosen fifty locations to listen to the ambient sound captured by several Taiwanese field recordists. To provide a clearer understanding of the themes behind the sounds, we have brought in experts to help identify the species, together with photographs and site information, as well as species-specific introductions, in the hope of promoting more local conservation of natural soundscapes. Of course, you can also enjoy these sounds simply as music, or even use them in educational outreach, as long as they contribute to the goal of environmental sustainability (and please respect copyright, all quotations must be acknowledged and attributed). On this website, we have also added teaching and case studies on natural soundscapes to help you learn to listen to the non-human sounds around us and understand that these living creatures are as much a part of this island as we are. We believe that when people are willing to expand their ears, they can open their hearts and minds to build a diverse and inclusive listening culture and create a more sustainable and beautiful home.