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Pingshan opens British Library sound exhibition

By Lin Lin | Shenzhen Daily | Updated: 2021-08-23 16:41
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An exhibition showing sound recordings from the British Library was opened at Pingshan Library on Friday evening.

Titled "LISTEN: The Story of Recorded Sound – Pingshan•Shenzhen," the exhibition presents highlights of the British Library's sound archive. Visitors can listen to the world's first wildlife recording in 1889, the first electrical recording sold to the public in 1920, Sir Arthur John Gielgud's reading of William Shakespeare's "Sonnet 18" in 1932 and many other recordings.

Scenes at the British Library sound exhibition. [Photos by Lin Lin/For China Daily]

"This exhibition shows just how important the sounds of the past 140 years have been to our lives ever since the invention of the phonograph in 1877," said Jamie Andrews, who leads cultural programming and learning work at the British Library, in a video at the opening ceremony.

"You'll hear excerpts from all history interviews showing how sound recording has been vitally important in capturing the testimonies of ordinary people in their own words for the benefit of historians and researchers of the future," added Andrews.

In addition to the British Library exhibition, an exhibition displaying Pingshan's symbolic sounds was also opened at the same venue. It presents sounds recorded at 50 sites across the district to reveal its natural environment, folk traditions, modern culture, technologies and other aspects. Visitors can hear the recordings by scanning QR codes, using CD players or pressing buttons on a touchscreen that displays a map of the recording sites. A spherical space made of environmentally friendly corrugated fiberboards has also been set up at the exhibition. Visitors can hear an audio clip that presents the historical development of Pingshan in the space.

Scenes at the "Sounds of Pingshan" exhibition. [Photos by Lin Lin/For China Daily]

"Pingshan is an area that is in development. That's a great step forward to introduce its cultural aspect," said Samuel Sadiq, a German teacher from Shenzhen Technology University. "Everyone considers that Shenzhen has no culture at all when you compare it to cities like Xi'an, Beijing or Nanjing. Now, we have our chance to show that it can be a cultural hub as well."

Samuel Sadiq (L), a German teacher from Shenzhen Technology University, and Corrinne Mann, a drama teacher from the U.S., read an excerpt from William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" at Friday's opening ceremony. [Photo/Courtesy of Pingshan Media Center]

At the exhibition's opening ceremony, Pingshan also donated a vinyl record with the district's sounds to the British Library.

Pingshan District's global cultural promotion plan was also released to announce further collaboration with the library and other events such as vinyl record salons for Chinese and foreign music lovers and cultural tours around Pingshan.

Both sound exhibitions will run through Feb 20 next year.

Venue: Pingshan Library

Dates: Until Feb 20, 2022

Hours: 9 am to 12:30 pm; 1 pm to 5:30 pm; 6 pm to 9 pm (closed on Mondays)

Add: Huide Road, Pingshan Subdistrict, Pingshan District (坪山区坪山街道汇德路)

Transport: Take the high-speed rail from Shenzhen North Station to Pingshan High-speed Railway Station and then take a taxi

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