Meet Fao, one of the instigators of the Renlai World Music Compilation released in July 2011 with the issue #84 of the magazine.

I hail from Bogotá, Colombia and have been living in Taipei for two years now. I compose music in which I like to use contemporary elements, electronic generated sounds and traditional music from South America and Asia.

After teaching sound engineering in Colombia, I was able to save enough money to fulfill my goal to travel and learn traditional instruments from other parts of the world. I went first to Japan, where I did several collaborations with contemporary noise musicians and also got initiated to traditional Japanese music. Then I moved on to India to learn classical Indian tabla music, before finally arriving in Taiwan where I practice the guqin and Taichi.

When I was in Japan, I got in touch with Jose Duarte who had returned to San Jose from Taipei. Together we released the first Renlai CD, in Taiwan in 2008 (Renlai#48). It was a real challenge because we collaborated at distance: Jose was in Costa Rica, I was in Japan and the magazine is published in Taiwan. In fact, that is how I first discovered Taiwan on the world map!

At the beginning of 2011, Jose offered to collaborate again with Renlai magazine for another CD. After discussion, we decided to put together a compilation of world music in Taiwan, not just ethnic music, but music with a contemporary feeling, something fresh, and interesting, different from what is normally available on the music market. Somehow, while American, Japanese and Korean pop is all the rage, the contemporary world music scene is not valorized in Taiwan, and I believe that there are many creative individuals and bands who deserve more exposure.

So we decided to open the doors to more people and launched a global call for works. In my case, I had especially in mind some Taiwanese bands with fresh, aboriginal sounds but unfortunately, not too many people replied to our call outside Taipei. Anyway this CD is already a step towards a better representation world contemporary music in Taiwan, I am very satisfied with the participating bands and musicians and I wish that while opening auditory horizons for our audiences, that this project is just the start of more and greater collaborations between musicians who like to experiment in Taiwan and around the world.

Fao_Souncape-II

Watch an interview of Fao made by eRenlai in 2010:

Interview filmed and edited by Cerise Phiv and Lorezo Goehr
Photo courtesy of F. Torres

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