● Only the Sound Excerpt 3 [0:38]

Some of the park exercises in Beijing include walking backwards.

● Only the Sound Excerpt 2 [0:56]

»It is only the sound of running water but I never grow tired of listening to it«.

● Park exercise 1 [0:27]

In most cultures quietness and tranquility is rare. Often a pleasant mood is disturbed by unwanted noises like a lawn mower in this recording. That’s not to say that meditation and tai chi is escapism but they are disciplines needed in busy and crowded communities.

Orig. recording Lars Movin, DV tape

● The singer [0:24]

Along with the bodily exercises in the park were also musical exercises. In a mystical way a recording of musicians practicing their string instruments together with this singer went almost perfectly along with my piano music. I only selected a loop and pitched the first used stroke one note down. I didn’t even change the original BPM which was 120.

Orig. recording Lars Movin, DV tape

● At the noodle joint [0:33]

The original unedited video recording of the singing waiter. This sample can also be heard in Excerpt 5 but there were several recordings of his performance and the timing was perfect every time.

Orig. recording Lars Movin, DV tape

● Park exercise 2 [0:50]

The park was filled with people exercising to a chaos of music coming from all directions. What you could see on the video recordings simply wasn’t related to what you heard. That’s the reason why I chose to make a special soundtrack for the film. A sound scape like this could have also inspired David Bowie and Brian Eno to make ‘Moss Garden’ on the LP ‘Heroes’.

Orig. recording Lars Movin, DV tape

● Wowing and fluttering [0:20]

Most of the music in the park sounded like coming from old cassette tape players. The sample can be heard in the end of Only the Sound Excerpt 5.

Orig. recording Lars Movin, DV tape

● Only the Sound

I think it was in 2003 that Lars Movin visited Beijing. He made some video recordings especially from the former restricted park area that now was opened for the public. We had talked about doing a video with a lot of philosophical or poetic texts from books, articles or newspapers. It ended up with these few words instead: »It is only the sound of running water but I never grow tired of listening to it«, a quote from the Chinese poet Po Chü-I who lived 772-846. In the video excerpts you can hear the original sound and get the idea why a new soundtrack was necessary. In the right column are sound excerpts from in the final video. The soundtrack is available on CD.

Dir. Lars Movin and Niels Plenge 2005, score by Niels Plenge, DV tape, 19 min

● Only the Sound Excerpt 1 [1:30]

In advance but for no particular purpose I had made a small piano piece (also lost in the fire in 2006). Here it is combined with violin string picking, drums, bass, organ and some water splashes.

● Only the Sound Excerpt 4 [2:16]

Notice also the sound of walking with flip-flops (from 1:36) used as beat.

● Only the Sound Excerpt 5 [4:36]

I sampled a lot of the sounds from the Beijing video recordings and integrated them in the score for ‘Only the Sound’. Again by some kind of magic the tuning and tempo of a singing waiter in a noodle joint fitted my original piano composition. But also car horns and distorted tape music from the various exercises in the park can be heard in this excerpt. The sound of rolling chopsticks was recorded in Copenhagen.