This Hong Kong Mixtape introduces our first guest producer: composer and artist Samson Young, and the sound art community of Southeastern China. Young orients us to a set of nine compositions with sonic program notes. The program will be broadcast on radio stations in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K., and released as a podcast episode on multiple internet platforms, including Fresh Art International.
Hong Kong—a vibrant, densely populated urban center, a major port and a global financial hub—offers rich source material. Composers take us to the heart of student-led pro-democracy demonstrations during Hong Kong’s 2014 Umbrella Movement*, invite us to feel the vibrations of traffic lights and trams, immerse us in a traditional funeral ceremony and share the sensation of abstract computer-generated hip-hop. Samson Young’s personal field recordings capture site-specific sounds far from Hong Kong—the singsong of a North Carolina tobacco auctioneer and a peacock clock inside the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.
Sound artist composers and their works, in order of appearance:
Joyce Tang: Gloucester Road; Larry Shuen, Gynopedi No 1 Remix; Austin Yip, Philosophy One–Microsecond; Edwin Lo, Rabbit Travelogue: Central Region (Excerpt); Lee Cheng, Tram Ride on Sunday Afternoon; Alex Yiu, Alter ego (stereo mix); Samson Young, Tobacco Song and Peacock Clock; Fiona Lee, Tide
Sound Editor: Anamnesis Audio | Special Audio Sources noted above | Images courtesy Contemporary Musiking Hong Kong
Related Episodes: Samson Young on Songs for Disaster Relief; Every Time A Ear Di Soun; Stephen Vitiello on Sound Art
Related Links: Contemporary Musiking Hong Kong, Samson Young, Umbrella Movement
*More on the Umbrella Movement of 2014, rephrased from The Guardian : Hong Kong’s so-called “umbrella revolution” turned the city’s gleaming central business district into a virtual conflict zone, replete with shouting mobs, police in riot gear, and clouds of tear gas. Tens of thousands of Hong Kong residents – young and old, rich and poor – peacefully occupied major thoroughfares across the city, shuttering businesses and bringing traffic to a halt. They claimed that Beijing reneged on an agreement to grant them open elections by 2017, and demand “true universal suffrage.”
In October 2017, CNN reported the Umbrella Movement’s return to the streets: Almost three years to the day after the 2014 Umbrella Movement shut down parts of Hong Kong, thousands of people once again took to the streets. As the city’s government marked the 68th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China, protesters wearing black braved stifling heat and pouring rain to call for the release of “political prisoners” jailed last month, including Umbrella leaders Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow. Those arrests marked a turnaround from 2014, when the trio helped bring out hundreds of thousands of people to the streets to call for a more direct form of democracy in the former British colony.