Open Your Ears and Listen Anew

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2018 / January

Cathy Teng /photos courtesy of Chuang Kung-ju /tr. by Phil Newell


Have you “heard”? The warning sound at the entry gates to the Tai­pei Mass Rapid Transit system has been changed to a pleasing piano note. When a Metro train arrives at an interchange station, a quick, light piano scale reverberates through the cars, reminding passengers to change trains. When trains on the Blue, Green, Red, and ­Orange lines come into a station, a melody specific to each line is played on the platform, accompanying city residents at the start and the end of their workdays. The ambient music that is now being introduced at Metro stations will also, it is hoped, become part of people’s shared memories of Taipei.

Starting from the change of a single note, this is one small step in the Tai­pei Soundscape Program, but a giant leap in upgrading and refining our urban culture.


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