15 Jun 2016

The Pacific beat

From Upbeat, 1:45 pm on 15 June 2016
Hip-hop artist and music producer Matthew Salapu aka Anonymouz

Hip-hop artist and music producer Matthew Salapu, aka Anonymouz Photo: Facebook

Musician Matthew Salapu – aka Anonymouz – sampled the natural environment of Guam in his soundscape Resample Guåhån for the 12th Festival of Pacific Arts.

On Friday 24 June the Resample Guåhan soundscape and accompanying film will screen in Wellington at Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision.


Matthew Salapu: It was a mission because we decided to record the sounds there and create the soundscape there. So pretty much the first week there myself and an assistant and a visual artist went out and collated a whole bunch of sounds from the natural environments – performances, all sorts of things. Then the second week was spent in a mad hustle trying to edit and create the soundscape.

One of the main concepts of the soundscape is viewing sound as a lot of visual artists view their craft. The same way a carver looks at a block of wood for what it is – but more importantly what it could be by removing things. The same way a theatre practitioner walks into a new theatre and sees not only the space, but how they can utilise it and what they can turn it into.

You can’t help the environments you grow up in. For myself and a huge lot of us in our demographic, the dominant sound around us was American hip-hop. You look at that a little bit deeper into the recycling and looping – their histories, the sounds of jazz and funk and black American history, that’s amazing. It’s great to be brought up on those stories and sounds.

But as I’ve developed this I’ve thought it’s that much more special being able to loop our own sounds and get outside the four walls of the studio and explore the world of sound that’s around us.