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Distant Dialogues 天​地​留​声

by Various Artists

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Breathing on a sunny day Even in some cloudy state My heart, restart Strolling down the silent garden Embraced by all the summer nights With you, though not forever Is this another daydream I caught my myself in Never real waking It's when the fragile knowledge enlightening on me Feel Like real living I’d better rest in time with invisibility Slowly Opening There’re indeed certain moments changing my shape Enjoy the tie between us and the curtain behind Picturing the impermanence and fading along with it Blooming as they speak to me Together with the unspoken Blooming as they speak to me Is this another daydream I caught my myself in It's when the fragile knowledge enlightening on me Is this another daydream I caught my myself in It's when the fragile knowledge enlightening on me Enjoy the tie between us and the curtain behind Picturing the impermanence and fading along with it Blooming as they speak to me


合辑「Distant Dialogues 天地留声」是英国文化教育协会(British Council)2020年度「中英音乐人创作计划(Musicians in Residence)」的最终呈现样貌。该项目始于2011年,曾引荐多位英国音乐人在中国开展驻地创作。在2020年,由于新冠病毒疫情的影响,以往的实地体验改为线上征集素材的「云驻地」,单方面的旅程也进而成为双向探索,由来自中英两国的六位音乐人共同参与。他们在对方国家的社交媒体征集素材,以此为灵感最终完成了六首全新的音乐作品。
透过互联网的云驻地为此次创作平添一分科幻色彩。三位中国音乐人 Shii、GOOOOOSE 与盛洁 gogoj 分别以「看见鲜花」「跳舞的意味」「在看什么」为题,在英伦的万花筒里寻找创作灵感;三位英国音乐人 Hector Plimmer、Kayla Painter 与 Wonky Logic 则分别以「声音旅行」「内心世界」「G大调的欢乐」为题,在纷繁的中文世界中跋涉采集。为期一个月的互联网征集和交流让缤纷的素材涌入邮箱和社交平台:一首短诗、一朵野花、一阵清晨的鸟鸣、一段琴键跳跃的旋律…… 跨越千里摆在音乐人桌前案头。他们裁剪挑选,从中进一步提炼音乐主题,记录并分享他们对彼此异国的文化印象与想象。
化名 GOOOOOSE 的韩涵探寻跳舞的意味。什么样的声音让英国人想要晃动身体随之起舞?或许不仅仅是跳舞音乐,日常生活中也可能会有很多让人感受到节奏的声音:鸟儿的鸣叫、海浪的涛声、风吹拂树林的声音、邻居在墙上钻孔的声音、随机浮现在脑海的几秒钟的旋律…… 最终的作品《Fluxions》有着流动的质感,简洁好听。此外韩涵还通过自制程序将图像和视频以拼贴变形的手法做成一个视频作品。
Kayla Painter 从积极的角度重新审视“脆弱”。她收到的素材有诗歌、摄影、手绘、素描和录音片段。她尝试着将视觉材料触发声音,例如,具有长直线和优美曲线的图像被某种合成器替代,最终完成了这首《Glaciers and Dust》;而更多的诗歌素材则被 Kayla Painter 邀请不同年龄不同口音的英国人来朗读,她进而选取了一些诚实而隐秘的段落放进作品,每一个人都有自己的位置,高低错落。
Wonky Logic寻找欢乐,寻找音乐带给他的意义:一种庆典。他的作品《Elation》采样了以欢乐为主题的各类声音素材,使用钟琴以及中国的传统乐器竹笛创作音乐主题,营造他印象里的中国气氛。欢乐比恐惧更响亮,欢乐比恐惧更让人健康,如今世界被恐惧所笼罩,谈论欢乐也更加重要。
热爱鲜花的 Shii 也想要看到英国城市生活中的花朵。她收到许多花的照片、视频和文字,它们有的正在生长有的已经凋谢,有的是在室内有的是在野外。Shii 把一些投稿的文本片段用作歌词的片段,把她对于花的感受转化为合成器的旋律和律动,创作出这首《Seeing Flowers》。她收集到的花的照片也将会用在歌曲的视频中。
盛洁gogoj 收集了关于“凝视”的视频素材,而后通过采样拼贴的形式创作了这首《在看什么 What it is for gazing?》。每一个“凝视”素材都被盛洁以不同的音色重新定义,这些采样来自她的日常生活片刻,有的是在家中,也有在公园:独自练习萨克斯的中年男人,池塘里永远喂不饱的鱼群,和爱好投食的人类在一起永无休止的互动着。距离让信息脱离原本的意义,让凝视的真相显得不再那么重要。
Hector Plimmer的“声音旅行”跨越千里,从北京飞往拉萨,再从昆明抵达上海。这些收到的实地录音,有的被直接用作采样,有的启发了作品的结构,Hector Plimmer通过《Sonic Travels》完成了一个完整的往返旅程。平静的自然空间与熙攘的城市形成了强烈的对比,这是 Hector 对这些录音素材的第一印象,最终成为这首作品的主题。
2020 年的「天地留声 · 中英音乐人云驻地创作计划」由英国文化教育协会携手 XINTIANDI 新天地,上海世界音乐季,联合美丽唱片、Worldwide FM (英国)共同呈现。


released October 30, 2020

The compilation album Distant Dialogues is a result of the most recent manifestation of the British Council’s Musicians in Residence programme. Since 2011, the British Council has sent many UK musicians to conduct residencies in cities all over China. In 2020 however, due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, these real world encounters have given way to a virtual residency program taking place entirely online. Moreover what was once a one-sided programme of UK artists visiting China has become a two-way exchange, with the participation of six artists from the UK and China. Each artist used material gathered from the social media networks of the other nation as the inspiration for a musical work.

That the entire project has taken place over the internet has given the works a certain sci-fi flavour. Three Chinese artists, Shii, GOOOOOSE and gogoj, sought creative inspiration from the kaleidoscope of UK culture for their respective projects Seeing Flowers, The Meaning of Dance, and What it is for gazing?. And three UK artists, Hector Plimmer, Kayla Painter and Wonky Logic, gathered materials from across the many-sided Chinese landscape for their projects Sonic Travels, Inner World, and Joy/Elation. Over the course of a month our inboxes and social media platforms were inundated with submissions: a poem, a wildflower, a birdsong at dawn, a dancing keyboard melody... after traversing thousands of miles, thoughts and feelings from all over China and the UK landed on the desks of the artists. Out of these the artists made careful selections, further refining their musical themes, and finally recorded and shared their impressions and imaginations of each other’s countries.

For this project Han Han, who goes by the alias GOOOOOSE, wanted to explore the nature of dancing - what kinds of sound make British people feel like moving their bodies? It may not only be the sound of dance music, but also the kinds of rhythmic sounds we encounter in our day-to-day lives, for example birdsong, waves lapping against the shore, trees swaying in the wind, the neighbour drilling into the wall, a random melody that happens upon the mind... The resulting piece Fluxions is imbued with a pop texture, to put it briefly it’s pleasing to the ear. In addition, Han Han produced a video work by collaging and deforming images and videos using homebrew programming techniques.

With Glaciers and Dust, Kayla Painter seeks to reframe vulnerability in a positive light. She received a range of submissions comprising poems, photographs, drawings, sketches and audio. She asked people of different ages and with varying accents in the UK to read the poems out and record themselves, in this way building a connection from the Chinese audience straight to the British audience. She selected honest and mysterious moments from each of the poems and worked them into the track - some as short excerpts, others percussive interjections, while still others are low in the mix used as ambience. In response to the visual materials, she experimented with representing them with sounds according to the feelings they evoked in her. For example, a drawing with long straight lines and beautiful curves was represented by a certain synth she used which plays drawn out notes.

Dwayne Kilvington aka Wonky Logic seeks after joy, and that is what music is for him: a kind of celebration. His work Elation samples various sound materials organised around the theme of joy. Glockenspiel and bamboo flute are used for the main musical motifs – the piece as a whole an imaginarium of musical encounters assembled from the recordings Chinese people submitted for the project. Joy is louder than fear and joy is healthier for people than fear is. Now is a particularly important time to talk about and feel joy, as the whole globe is overtaken by fear.

Shii, who has a passion for flowers, wanted to know about the flowers that British city dwellers encounter in their daily lives. She received numerous photos, videos and writings about flowers: flowers on the cusp of blooming and flowers withering at the end of their lives; flowers indoors and flowers outdoors. Transposing her impressions of the flowers that she saw into melodies and rhythms on the synthesizer, and editing words and phrases from the text submissions into the lyrics, she composed the song Seeing Flowers. The images of flowers that she received will be used in the video clip for the song.

Sheng Jie aka gogoj solicited video material concerning the concept of the gaze. She recorded moments from her daily life, some made at home, others at the park: a lone middle-aged man practising the saxophone, an insatiable school of fish in the pond, and a few fish enthusiasts tossing food into the pond... an endless cycle of interaction. She then sampled these recordings, assigning different timbres to the different moods of the videos. Finally through a process of collage she created What it is for gazing?. Distance separates information from its original meaning, distance also makes the true situation of the gaze seem less important.

Hector Plimmer’s piece Sonic Travels covers miles of territory, from Beijing to Lhasa, from Kunming to Shanghai. He received a selection of field recordings from all over China, some of which were used directly in the music as samples, while others were used more for contextual inspiration – a musical round trip. Hector’s first impression from the submissions was the dramatic contrast between the calm, natural spaces and the bustling city spaces; this contrast is a prominent theme in the piece.

2020’s Musicians in Residence programme is jointly presented by the British Council, XINTIANDI and Shanghai World Music Festival in collaboration with Beijing-based indie label Merrie Records and London based radio station Worldwide FM.


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Merrie Records 美丽唱片 Beijing, China

Merrie Records was established in 2019 by DForce Records/Douban Music team, one of China’s most forward-thinking music labels. Merrie Records hope to discover and promote the most creative forces in contemporary China.

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