Pieces of Eight – 八音 : (performance) Nine-hour remote performances by eight musicians at eight locations with Internet streaming, followed by one-hour live performance with eight musicians, eight percussionists, eight eGuqins and eight-channel electronics at blackbox theatre

Research output: Creative and Literary Works in Non - textual FormRGC 44 - Performance and participation in exhibits

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Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 24 Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes


LocationArtisTree, Taikoo Place
PlaceHong Kong
Period24 - 28 November 2018


Music performance and installation design for ESKYIU PlayKits. In collaboration with Hong Kong New Music Ensemble. At ArtisTree, Taikoo Place, Hong Kong (Nov. 2018). CHINESE MUSIC REDISCOVERY / 24-27 NOV. The music event series advances music making and collaborates with Hong Kong New Music Ensemble (HKNME), a leading NGO in progressive music and experimental music making. With reference to “eight tones” in ancient Chinese music as the design inspiration, the event series collect sounds from eight different chosen routes in Hong Kong based on local historical and physical context, bringing the unique soundscape of Hong Kong into the ArtisTree venue with eight eGuQin instruments – guqin reinvented – orchestrating a one-of-a-kind music performance experience. The live performance of Pieces of Eight – 八音 unfolds over eight hours, at nine sites around Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories – eight ‘remote locations’ and at ArtisTree. It features eight musicians from the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble (HKNME), eight players from the HKU Percussion Ensemble and several teams of technicians. Members of the public are also invited to engage with the installation and become part of the art work at scheduled times. Further instruction to be provided by staff onsite.

Underlining the concept of Pieces of Eight – 八音 is the ancient Chinese way of thinking about tones or sounds known as the bayin (八音), which are essentially eight categories of material (leather/hide, clay, metal, stone, gourd, wood, silk, and bamboo). The tones and materials are also linked to the eight cardinal directions on a compass. The focus for the composers is on how each musician adapts their performance of the composed material to the soundscape they hear at a specific location – on a nature trail, at a busy commuter point, near a construction site, on a boat in the harbour – by imitating and dialoguing with people’s voices, animals, and other sound sources.

Sets of new, re-invented musical instruments designed by ESKYIU are featured in the performance. The installation showcases eight electric neo-guqins in addition to eight percussion-hurdles built with materials that are conceptually linked to the remote sites. The HKNME musicians perform their given material four times, with subtle variations depending on what happens at the different locations. Remote location audio is streamed back to ArtisTree in real time. In the evening performance, there will be up to 40 individual musical parts and 33 acoustic environments layered – a sonic canvas on the scale of a large orchestra.

「Pieces of Eight – 八音」的現場演奏長達八小時,樂手遍佈港九新界九個地點,亦即是Artistree以外的八個「遠程點」。演出由八位香港創樂團樂手、八位香港大學擊樂團樂手,以及一隊音效工程師聯手參與。公眾亦可在指定時間參與,屆時場內將有專人指示如何操作裝置。

「Pieces of Eight – 八音」的概念源自中國古代的「八音」,即由八種不同物料製成的八種樂器(革、土、金、石、匏、木、絲、竹),而八音又分別象徵指南針上的八個方位。作曲家的出發點是樂手在演奏既定的素材時如何因應在特別的地點,如在自然徑、繁忙的交通點、工地附近、在船上等地聽到的聲景,透過模仿人聲、動物或其他聲音來源和進行對話而有不同的表現。


Research Area(s)

  • performance, multimedia, music, electronics, interactive, surround, instruments, soundscape, networked, Hong Kong

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