to-BEI-ron-JING-to/多－北－伦－京－多 in its original conception is a work for erhu, piano, and recording which included samples from Beijing and Toronto. This work for electric harp and samples remixes ideas from the original work and builds on the original premise of environmental sustainability, creating sonic awareness, and building healthy urban environments.
In terms of human development, within the last century we have undergone huge changes to our living conditions and we are only just beginning to see how our bodies may or may not adapt. Living in a big city is comparable to a science experiment—It may be detrimental to our health. While many people are familiar with environmental issues around sustainability, many are unfamiliar with the impact that environmental sound can have on our health. There are many theories in both western and eastern sciences, medicines, and spiritual philosophies having both to do with the physical and the energetic bodies and how they are impacted by sound.
Living in Toronto, having family in Beijing and travelling back and forth, I began to think about how constant changes to landscapes and therefore soundscapes would impact human physical, mental, and energetic health. How do highly transient human populations constantly adjust to differing soundscapes and what impact does that have on our bodies over the long term?
to-BEI-ron-JING-to REMIX I mixes soundscapes that I have created into samples and reworked compositional material from the original piece into one postmodern collage that confuses time and space. The first recorded biophonic sounds are heard from Cicadas at Shenlu (神路—Road to Heaven) which contrast with many other anthrophic sounds (human sounds) which may or may not have any form of organization. The soundscapes were captured in summer of 2013 in Beijing and winter of 2014 in Toronto and they collide in a whirlwind of chaos where the electric harp must constantly adapt and adjust. This musical experiment emulates the day-to-day sonic experiment that we as humans continually experience.
Toronto soundscapes include: Outdoor hockey rink at Ryerson University, Dundas Square at Yonge, Toronto Subway, Old City Hall Clock Tower.
Beijing soundscapes include: Outside the Beijing Conservatory (北京音乐学院), Street vendors on Qianhai West Street (前海西街), escalator at Ping'anli Subway Station (平安里站), Chinese opera rehearsal with jinghu (京胡) at Houhai Lake (后海), kuai ban (快板) playing at Qianmen (前门大街) and Xianyukou (鲜鱼口美食街) Streets, and the Beijing Drum Tower (鼓楼).