The Top 10 favorite sounds of Shanghai contest is over and the results have been announced. The reports (in Chinese) that we’ve seen thus far, which are more or less identical, do not have the list in its entirety. However, the reports all mention that the Reeb beer song is one of the top ten, especially since it’s composer, Kong Jia died at age 26. The contest rules stipulate three ways of entering the contest — you can either record sounds, write something, or call in and tell them what you’re favorite sound is. So what else was there? The sound of seagulls at the Waibaidu Bridge, and this unique take on life in the city — the sound of a 70 year-old “empty nest” life. With the kids working and busy with lives of their own, these old people spend their time feeding birds, listening to the radio, talking with each other. This is part of the author’s statement: “城市的生活压力让年轻人忙于在外面打拼，难得回家看看老人，空巢老人越来越多，他们的心声有谁倾听？城市发展固然令人兴奋，但深层次的问题也应该引起关注。” (“The pressure of city life is such that young people are constantly busy and working and thus have little time to go home visit their parents. There are increasing numbers of empty nest old people, but who is there to listen to what’s in their hearts? The development of the city is definitely exciting, but we ought to be concerned with the deep social problems as well.”)
The organizations sponsoring this are some government related culture office called the 东方宣传教育 (Dong Fang Jiaoyu Zhongxin), and the UK Consulate in Shanghai. Later this month, they are going to release these sounds (and testimonials?) on CD, which will coincide with more projects from an English sound artist (is that the term?) named 凯芙.马修斯 (which means we have no idea what her English name is), who came to Shanghai in February and will come back later this month (they say the 15th, so not very much later) perhaps to unveil some of her new works as well.
This link has files of some of the sounds that made it into the contest, though these are not necessarily the top 10. There’s the usual suspects: music, Shanghai opera, the subway, the sound of the clock at the Bund, etc.