Wolgang Liebhart

creative (mis)understandings - creative research as a (learning) process

My personal motivation and experience in connection with the project mentioned above should be briefly outlined here. Two approaches in the field of music ethnology were crucial to join the team at c(m)u.

The main driving force was and is a fundamental interest in not only new sound worlds but to me unknown cultures in a general sense. I look back to my trip in 2008 to Lanyu Island with the Tao, one of Taiwan's 16 indigenous minorities, when I first immersed in their culture, which was completely unknown to me at the time, what a happy coincidence. During my first stay on Orchid Island, my focus was primarily on audio and video recordings of traditional Tao songs. This activity was also very inspiring for me as a composer, as some works were later created, in which in particular the microtonal melody of the Tao chants was incorporated. Parallel to the artistic-creative aspect, personal contacts and friendly relationships with the Tao themselves developed, which were then intensified by the fact that I had the rare opportunity to spend a few nights in a hut in the old, traditional part of the village of Ivalino. This „accidental“ field research also brought me closer to the elderly, who already provided me with audio and video material, and gave me a little insight into their everyday way of life.

Four years later, in 2012, the (electronic-experimental) musical work with some young people from the village of Ivalino resulted in a completely different approach. Namely, what significance and impact have (musical / cultural) influences from outside on their own culture and how to deal with them. Do you reflect on your own traditions and are you able or willing to give them new perspectives or do they degenerate into mere folklore-colored, museum-based stereotypes?

This thought process remains unlimited in time and is also perceived, interpreted and lived differently by the different generations. In addition to cultural and social considerations, during my third and longest stay in Lanyu, this time in the village of Iraraley, this generational heterogeneous perception of socio-cultural developments provided sufficient material for numerous discussion. It is always a personal challenge to remain the objectively observing field researcher/artist in certain situations.