Beijing Sound Unit | Beijing

24 x CD Players, Headphones and 24 x 5 Minute Audio Loops/MP3 | F.0037.0000

Location: 39° 55' N, 116° 23' E
Time Zone: H | - | UTC/GMT +8 Hours
Airports: 2
Inhabitants: 6,542,000

These recordings by Beijing Sound Unit are aimed at observing, recording, documenting, surveilling, archiving, deconstructing, displacing, recontextualizing and rethinking the sonic world of Beijing. They are concerned neither with a 'soundscape' nor a 'musique concrete' approach to sound representation. Sounds are usually either presented 'as is', or modulated/transformed beyond recognition, while intermediary processes such as looping and layering are strictly avoided.

In this piece for 'Invisible Cities', what the listener hears are 'unidentified sound events' covering a wide range of urban life in Beijing. The sounds are unmodified except for crossfading between segments. Without textual translations or narrative identifications of the sound events, this piece is an experiment in the possibility of 'intercultural listening'.

Daijuin Yao is a sound and conceptual artist, radio DJ and music producer based in Berkeley, California. In recent years he has worked on the deconstruction of the Chinese language (sound, script and meaning); algorithmic modulation of traditional music; and emotional sound art.

His current work focuses on cultural and humanistic listening. Since 1997, he has organized mobile 'sound units' in major Chinese cities to monitor and record rapidly changing urban sounds. Dajuin's works have been performed in Finland, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Germany, Cuba, and the U.S. His sound pieces are published by Post-Concrete Records.

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