In speaking with Taiwanese musician and visual artist Chiu Pi, I observed a sense of humility that’s rarely seen in the youth of today. His worldly outlook and viewpoints appear to be condensed and infused into his art, and only when examining his work as a whole, will people be able to get a better understanding of him as a person. His music has been dubbed as mystical and minimalistic avant-garde, but these classifications don’t quite do justice to his genre-bending work. In the span of two short years, he’s released 17 albums, made various televised appearances, and produced many commissioned commercial projects. Even in his success, Chiu Pi remains quite humble, shy even. For our interview, using the same unconventional wisdom that’s become a trademark of his art, he recontextualized our questions and presented it as a stream of consciousness narrative, which served as the preface to his answer.
Listen to two selects tracks and read our interview with Chiu Pi below.
Neocha: Your new book was published not long ago. What have you been working on ever since?
Chiu Pi: “Willpower” – Inevitably, I always play the supporting role in life. Real inner peace and harmony doesn’t come from logic, but from faith and from the potential of self, a voluntary system of intuition.
Throughout the month of March, I’ll be at Taipei’s Kyushu Temple Forest for Scout, a solo exhibition tied to my first book End of Comfort. I’m honored to be joined by Huang Chenghuang. At the exhibition, we’ll be discussing George Gurdjieff’s The Fourth Way and I’ll also be teaching five courses on the Gurdjieff movements, which are a series of sacred dances, to help those who might be interested in working towards a deeper understanding of self. I also recently worked on the soundtrack for HTC’s virtual reality space that was exhibited at the National Palace Museum.
邱比: “意志” —— 我总是无可避免的成为了人生的配角，真正的内在平静与祥和，不是从逻辑中得到，而是信仰中执行，从自我的潜能中，自愿并执行那份高直觉的力量。
Neocha: Having dabbled in theatre, music, dance, writing, and other artistic fields, do you prefer any over the rest?
Chiu Pi: “Maps” – Take me on a journey. Take me on your travels. The dying god hangs off a cliff. His last words: “Take me. Go experience the world in place of me. Maybe we can drift ashore together.”
In the seven years between high school and college, I was part of U-theatre and performed in various places like the Taipei Art University. I performed many scripts I wrote myself during this time. The performers I trained, went on and held avant-garde theatre performances in many places. In the past three years, I released an album in Mandarin Chinese, wrote hundreds of sheets of original music, and worked with Rolling Stone Records to establish a Taiwanese electronic music label. When I graduated from high school, I wanted to study philosophy. When I graduated from college, I wanted to establish my own theatre troupe and perform at all the biggest art festivals. None of these dreams happened but I’m not disappointed. I suppose it might be because I don’t know what I’m truly passionate about yet.
邱比: “地图” —— 带我去游览，带我去游历，垂死的上帝高挂在挣扎之崖。 他的遗言：“带我去吧，尽你所能的代我去经验世界。或许我们能一起靠岸。”
Neocha: From releasing your first album, to the Shoot For The Stars collaborative album, then to televised appearances – how have these experiences affected you or your creative process? Do you have any revelations regarding independent music?
Chiu Pi: “Environment” – Bring music straight to the consumers. It was a dream at first, but now it’s reality.
Music and environment are intrinsically linked. When something demands to be noticed in the environment, that same thing should translate over to music production. Being able to appreciate your surroundings is the same as being able to appreciate music. I take particular care to the environment when I’m working with vocals, which gives my music a fun and surreal quality to it. In the past, my productions emphasized a sense of space. I feel like the management of virtual spaces and the possibilities of music in the future will be closely related. Space has to become a solid. Space has to become definite. Space must contain levels. The next step is translocation, the translocation of our inner selves. This is my new understanding of music.
邱比: “环境” —— 把音乐直接传到消费者的耳里，首先是一个梦想，现在它已成为事实。
音乐跟环境息息相关，也就是说一个环境应该注意的事，正是音乐创作上该注意的事，欣赏一个环境的方式也是欣赏音乐的方式。在人声的处理上我特别在意环境立体感，它让音乐有一种音乐有一种在听觉上进行虚拟实境的趣味，过去的音乐在录音上，混音上强调空间感。我觉得音乐未来的可能性和虚实环境的管理有关。空间必须变得具体下来，空间必须变得明确下来，空间必须变得有层次。接下来，就是易位 – 内心环境的易位，这是我对音乐的新领悟。
Neocha: It’s difficult to imagine you living in an environment that restricts your freedom. Can you talk about your experience with conscripted army service?
Chiu Pi: “Self-discipline” – What’s our plan? I suggest that we stop accepting or presenting ourselves with fear as a tool for self-progression. Please consider this alternative: Let yourself grow. This benefits everyone.
The higher-up officers would impose their dogmatic ideals. But this was an opportunity to develop yourself and test yourself on whether you can adhere to their guidelines. In this sort of environment, your own thoughts become mentors. Your mind is autonomous. In everyday life, negative thoughts are useless. For example, these thoughts might be that I’ve always been a lazy person by default or I’ve always been a quitter. The first step to living freely is to stop consuming, the most negative part of the two examples are the words “always.”
邱比: “自律” —— 我们的计划是什么？我建议要停止接受或对自己描绘基于恐惧的进步建议。请选择这一种建议：让你自己进步，这对大家都有好处。
Neocha: Was there a certain point in time where you felt like you were “complete,” or do you feel like you’ve always been yourself?
Chiu Pi: “Self” – Don’t attempt to prophesize results, but do keep it in mind. If I let you down, it’s a sign, a sign that you need to save me.
When does a person feel happy or content? Most of the time, it’s when a person is able to unleash the full potential of their personal value. But is this value measured? By who and in what ways? When do I know I’ve exerted the most of my value? A person that’s inline with their “self” should not lack integrity, even for a moment. Once a person recognizes that they understand their “self,” then they’re complete. Prayer is something that stops the flow of ideas; it splits two different schools of thought. Praying is the crevice between thoughts, and the response to prayers come from the resolution of your own work.
邱比: “自我” —— 不去预测结果，只是在意恰当。我让你失望是一个标示，一个你需要拯救我的标示。
Neocha: Does your new book End of Comfort have any special meaning to you? What sort of books do you normally read?
Chiu Pi: “Future” – Love is an endless revelation.
Three messages: 1. I’m worthy of God’s love. 2. Teaching the value of artificial intelligence. 3. Being an authentic version of myself.
The name End of Comfort is meant to be about mysticism. This is my favorite personal work so far. It comes from my soul. Normally, I like to read books that force you to think. I recommend the books Record of Words and Deeds of Wang Fengyi and Biocentrism: How Life and Consciousness are the Keys to Understanding the True Nature of the Universe by Bob Berman and Robert Lanza.
邱比: “未来” —— 爱在无尽启示中。
三种讯息：1. 我是值得上帝爱的那种人。 2. 教导人工智能人类的价值。 3.一个真实不虚的人的氛围。