Sound is intrinsic and integral to our culture as it is a modality that enables communication, awareness of our environment, and the expression of thoughts and emotions.
Us, Them, We? is a mixtape workshop that leverages the intrinsic nature of sound and music in culture and society, to reveal the nuances of Asian identity and its analogy with Māori, Pakeha, and Pasifika peoples in New Zealand today.
During the workshop, participants engage with mixtape processes to express their ideas, questions, and reflections via sound and music. The result is a unique story in the form of an assemblage of voice, environmental sounds, sounds made by everyday things, and music. This abstract representation (collage of sounds) strips away visual cues, enabling the creators and listeners to engage — experience and bring meaning to the series and compilation(s) of sound and music, without preconceived notions of identity.
The workshop was presented by Dr. Jon He, Senior Lecturer (Music Technology) at Te Rewa o Puanga, Toi Rauwharangi in collaboration with Massey Alumni Agatha Lee, in October 2022 as part of the 2022 Asia Aotearoa Arts Hui.
The Asia Aotearoa Arts Huì is a gathering of Asian New Zealand arts practitioners presenting practice, sharing ideas and networking. It provides practitioners and participants a space to engage with (from an Asian in Aotearoa perspective) the creative cross-cultural conversations generated from our relationships with Māori, Pasifika, Pākeha, other migrant communities and with each other. For more info, see https://www.aaah.org.nz/
Jon He is an experimental sound and integrated media artist, and researcher. He works within a hybridized culture of physical computing, interaction design, and digital signal processing. Jon is particularly interested in the multimodal human-machine relationship in sonic expression and experience using emerging technologies. Artistically, his works focus on bringing ancient sonic practices to the present through their re-visioning as gestural controllers and mechatronic sound machines. He has performed and exhibited internationally with his novel instruments and his research has been published in academic journals and proceedings of major international conferences.