A Taiwanese man playing a flute in the woods. Taipei 101 can be seen in the background through some of the trees.

音樂 (Music)

Playing music can create a special kind of joy and happiness. In our oh so visual and textual world, there is probably something special about this image-less, (often) wordless art. It’s also very tactile and demands a level of dexterity many other forms of art don’t. (Isn’t it interesting how every computer-based art doesn’t require any form of dexterity, when you don’t see playing computer games as art for whatever reason?)

There are of course very social dimensions to playing music – the relationship between artist and audience, but also the relationship between several artists, be it in a band, ensemble, orchestra, or choir. I’ve written about the magic of this moment in the past. What other activity is there where you can co-create something with more than a hundred people, at the same time, where each and everyone contributes something?

The story that this image tells is a little bit different, though. It’s the story of music as meditation, almost prayer. I met/saw this man on a hike, two hours after starting the tour in Southern Taipei. The forests and jungles crawl into the city, creating opportunities to relax (and be bitten by mosquitos), so it’s hard to tell how far from home this gentleman actually was. But from his deep focus, he could as well have walked there for days to send a musical soliloquy to the trees.

(This is a more cinematic edit than you probably expect, but the background was too chaotic, the ground too present so I played with the colors a lot. I also changed the temperature to approach the “summer” vibe of the rest of this week’s photos.)

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