Hanoi Sound Stuff Festival

The vietnamese electronic musician Tri Minh invited me to his Hanoi Sound Stuff Festival in order to present my Denoising project. A very fitting choice, as Hanoi is a city that is simply buzzing with energy. Due to the overbearing traffic it’s near impossible to find a quiet place. The endless stream of scooters and cars is generating an ever present ambience of engine noise and honks.

During my first day i was heading on a Field Recording tour with my festival colleague Leafcutter John and he accurately describes the surroundings like this:

„I’m starting to get into the swing of things, body clock is still very confused but the vibe of the city is such that it carries you along on it’s noisy, smoky, hyper-alive wake.  I spent several hours walking around recording and taking photographs with Richard today. And when stepping off the street and into the calm of my hotel I keep noticing that my body is actually vibrating such is the excitement of the city.“

I was lucky to share the experimental music stage with the likes of Leafcutter John, Daito Manabe and Horacio Pollard amongst others. The vietnamese audience proved to be very concentrated and passionate listeners and were very interested in the somewhat weird musical offerings. It was especially revealing, that during various Q&A’s and interviews a lot of the questions where centered on questions about WHY the artists are following a path, that is experimental and challenging traditional musical concepts.
Particularly nice: I managed to sneak into vietnamese televison:

Hanoi traffic


Our stage at Vietnam National Museum of History

My gear for this special concert

Business as usual

Recording the traffic in Hanoi, picture by Leafcutter John

Cool dudes

The audience properly lined up at the beginning

The DJ dance event featured a lot of great artists too: Glitterbug, Ametsub, the audience favourites Pitchtuner (the crowd went completely crazy to their charming electro pop). After a slightly delayed and hesitant beginning – it can be quite a mission in Vietnam to achieve a licence for an event – the evening soon developed into a wild party and harsh Dubstep seems to rule the dance floor for vietnamese teenagers too.

Night bus

Hanoi night skyline

View out of my hotel room

Traditional vietnamese instruments

The vietnamese yield: several Cồng chiêng (tuned gongs) and a Sênh tiền (a combination of a clapper, rasp and tambourin). Love these instruments, but please don’t ask me how to pronounce them.

ever present ambience of engine noise and honks.

(author: dr.richard eigner)