on(h)(e)ar): one ear to hear

Dayang Yraola

This performance is part of an on-going project in partnership with the University of California Humanities Research Institute (UCHRI).

A performance held on 24 October 2019 invited three sound artists: Cheuk Wing Nam (Wing), Dennis Wong (aka Sinned) and Nelson Hiu. Each artist has a solo performance, to exhibit stereotypical “noise,” “sound,” and “music.” These performances progress into a relay, where the artists swap genres, to make a point about the “artificiality” of the categories. The artists then merge into a full group composite performance. This is done to bring the audience into a thicker sensorial space rather than leave them to dwell in cognitive listening (in other words, to bring them from “what am I listening to” to feeling-listening).

The performance, titled <on(h)(e)ar)> (to be read as: one ear to hear), encapsulates the curatorial position that the difference between “noise,” “sound,” and “music” . It lies not on the sonic object but in the hearing perception, such that: with noise, one asks: "for how long or how loud can you listen?"; for sound: "what is it that I hear?"; and for music: "what is it saying?" This means then that a horn playing can be noise, sound, or music, depending on how the mind of the listener processes it.

A workshop with the theme of “Noise, Sound, Music” was held at Lingnan University Campus on 25 October 2019.