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© 2019 DJ QuestionMark. All Rights Reserved.

【Music/Object】 Song of Sewing Machine

  Visualize the connection between music and fashion.

Composer/Arranger/Recorder/Mixer/Actor

Spring Summer 2015 Collection, London Fashion Week

 

The core concept of the work is “common ground,” with sewing machine, iron and cloth as tools for creating both fashion and music. By recording how the sounds are made, the video links visual and audio perception and redefines the tools in the process.

 

DPA 4099 and SE X1 as space mic and main mic; lo-fi clip mic to get sewing machine’s vibration. Keeping the arrangement as simple as I can, I let the sounds speak for themselves.

 

Developing process:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

【Fashion】"F"

Project leader/Composer/Arranger/Recorder/Film Actor

Released on Spring Summer,2015 collection, London Fashion Week.

 

In addition to sewing machine and iron as core instrument, vocal and electric bass were added to further define the song’s character.

 

Developing process:

 

【Theatre】Spurt of Blood

Composer/Music technician/Live performer

Written by Antonin Artaud, directed by YC Wei. Taiwan premiere.

2006 annual production of NTU Department of Drama & Theatre

 

A pool was set at the center of the stage, large enough for all the actors to get in. At around 16’30”, all entered the pool and started dancing, followed by segments of dialogues. I placed four fixed shotgun mics around the pool, two floor mics downstage, two floor mics and two additional shotgun mics upstage. At 21’00”, white-robed actors, symbolizing detachment, neutrality and control, started walking by the pool, carrying boom mics to record the sounds of water and dialogues.             

 

I controlled all twelve mics on the stage, and with a digital console (Yamaha O1V) added effects like repitch, delay, and reverb, such as the segment starting at 49’40”. Props of enormous proportion, bizarre costumes, and sounds and music of strange rhythm and pitch created a surreal experience in both visual and audio terms. I also wore a white lab robe, as one who monitored, controlled, worked behind-the-scene, and performed on stage - by following the emotions on stage, adding different sound effects, adjusting the balance between the mics, etc. In other words, I was also one of the actors,  through utilization of technology, sound and music.

 

Mics position:

【Music/Object】Sound of Combuy

The way you listen to the beverage.

Project leader/Composer/Arranger/Recorder/Scratcher/Actor

2013 Comebuy brand promotion

 

 

All sounds on the video came from an actual store of the drink franchise Comebuy. In fact, the recording and the music video were made by setting up an entire store in Mega Studio, one of the largest studios in Taipei. In keeping with the brand’s motto “Fresh and colorful,” I wanted the audience to hear the sound of the drinks being made, and the coffee machine, syrup machine, plastic cups and containers available in all its stores were used as instruments, in the form sampling or performance by DJ, drummer, and beatboxer. Most notably, by adding a plastic cup I designed a custom wobble talkbox for the beatboxer, who could then easily manipulate sounds by hand movements, such as covering or opening the cup, to produce a wobble bass effect.

 

The video has played in all the franchise’s stores since 2013 and its reception has been enthusiastic, leading to invitations for live performance. What I aimed to do with this piece, in addition to promoting the brand, was to bring a new awareness of objects in our immediate surroundings.

 

Wobble talkbox design:

【Design】 Body percussion MIDI based system

Your move becomes your groove.

Designer/Maker

Penny Tai 2009 concert Asia tour

 

I took apart a midi keyboard and used it as midi-usb interface.

More than 45 midi sensors were attached to 7 musicians, who then turned themselves into music instruments simply tapping different parts of their bodies.

 

Developing process:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

【Movie】 Weather Report of The End

Score composer/Arranger

Official selection of 2015 International Film Festival Rotterdam

Official selection of 2015 Neuchatel International Fantastic Film Festival

 

The year is 2078, and the climate on earth is extremely unstable, with frequent occurrences of meteors, volcanic eruptions, black holes, and even alien attacks. Hsiung, a veteran weatherman who has a strained relationship with his daughter because of one forecast that went widely off the mark, has to save her from the most dangerous weather of all time – a gigantic cat-faced monster called Meowzilla.

 

For this sci-fi cult comedy, I parodied scores from epic movies like Godzilla and Star Wars (2’09” and 3’50”) and made the arrangement "high class lo-fi" - keeping the sound lo-fi on purpose. For instance, the Star Wars theme was played by a professional trumpet player, but was arranged and mixed with a bad balance, so that the song sounded unprofessional in terms of quality but perfectly matched the "fake 3D" monster animation. I also made fun of myself and the movie by remixing a Godzilla parody and some funny lines from the script into a dubstep-electronica finale.

 

【Machinima】 Just Another Morning

Music producer

Runner-up, BlizzCon Movie Contest 2013

 

The 3-minute short film had no dialogue, so music played a crucial role. I chose post-rock to underline the tension between the fierce battle to come and the fond memories of old. Meanwhile, this was just another ordinary morning, so I used a seemingly smooth melody with a sour-sweet hint to highlight the long-forgotten innocence hidden beneath the protagonist’s tough appearance.

【Dance】Mixed Players - Dance with Master

Musician/Performer

 

I was invited by a well-known contact improvisation dance group in Taiwan, Ku & Dancers, to a performance at 2013 iDance Taipei Festival. Also present were Nancy Stark Smith, legendary dancer and co-founder of contact improvisation, and pianist and composer Mike Vargas. I used Ableton Live and Orbit as controller, asaloto for percussion, vocoder and synthesizer. Mike played piano, toys and beats from an iPad.

 

Under Nancy's guidance, I felt that I became one with the entire space. My music was inspired by not only Mike but also by the dancers, including the breaths they took and the messages that they sent with their eyes and movements, and the energy on stage. I saw the sounds I made visualized in the dancers' reactions, and then I sent out my feedback again. It was magical. What I learned from this experience is that music can be felt above harmony and melody, and even a simple sound or 5 minutes of silence can be an independent movement of the piece.

【MV】Sweet Talk (Red House)

Co-producer/Arranger/Recorder/Scratcher/Actor

 

I co-produced this track with well-known DJ/producer Xuan Liu. Liu wrote the melody, I made the arrangement, and Ying-Ying Shih, one of the best jazz singers in Taiwan, was invited to join the project.

 

To the Chinese and English lyrics, I added segments of traditional Peking opera and jazz music from Shanghai in the 1930s, blending more than one hundred samples into a funky groove to build up the arrangement. I also scratched the melody of the Peking opera as a interlude solo.

 

In the music video, I was a DJ who travelled through space and time, symbolizing the essence of this cross-genre piece. Image of the DJ performing scratching was meant to highlight the connection between remix and the cross-genre style.

【LiveJean Pierre Remix

Project leader/Arranger/Live DJ

I was the music director of Groove It!!!, a concert sponsored by Eslite Bookstore.

 

By combining sample-based arranging, scratching element and modern beat with classic jazz, funk, and disco music, I hoped to send the audience a message, via songs that were familiar and easy to listen to, that the DJ can be a creative and knowledgeable musician, not just the stereotypical "party animal".
 

I believe it is the DJ's job, or vocation even, to find and bring forth the positive energy in music in various ways, but the lopsided representation of DJ in modern-day mass media is easily misleading. To change that, and to affirm the core value of what a DJ is and does, it is essential to stay focused on what really matters, namely, creativity and music itself.

 

Here, with Miles Davis's "Jean Pierre," I scratched the sound of the didgeridoo and used it as the bass line, making myself the DJ an instrument player in another sense. It is my belief that using acoustic instrument as sample, instead of the "ah" sound preferred by conventional turntablist, makes for a more meaningful way to connect to the audience.

【LiveDMC World Championship Taiwan

Final Routine of DMC Taiwan Championship.