A natural sounding pastime

By Li Yingxue (China Daily) Updated : 2020-09-23


Shenggu, a popular podcaster whose real name is Zhao Zhiqin, records sounds of nature in the bamboo forest inYunqi, a small town of Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, in April 2016. [Photo provided to China Daily]

A popular podcaster from Hangzhou is preserving the noises of nature to assist insomniacs and overly-stressed listeners to relax, while building up local 'audio maps', Li Yingxue reports.

From the sound of a flowing stream in the forest park or wind in the bamboo groves to the noise of the morning market and the cargo ship on the riverside of Qiantang River, it is now possible to enjoy the beauty of Hangzhou just by closing the eyes and listening.

A recording which captures the myriad sounds of life and nature in Hangzhou's Xihu district of Zhejiang province went online on Ximalaya, a popular audio sharing platform, on July 9.

The album was recorded by Shenggu, whose real name is Zhao Zhiqin and who has been based in Hangzhou for around a decade, a popular podcaster on Ximalaya with over half a million followers.

"I'm honored to help more people discover the beauty of Hangzhou through sound," he says.

He collects the sounds of the wind and rain-even the frogs-at Xixi National Wetland Park, the tea garden in Longwu and Xishan national forest park.

In the recordings, he has also captured the audio of all four seasons to craft a complete sound map of the city. Summer is noisier, the air filled with the buzzing of insects, while the wind in winter sounds dry.

The album, according to the platform, is a new exploration of digitally promoting culture and travel and is free to listen to.

He moved to Hangzhou in 2011, after graduating from Guilin University of Electronic Technology with a major in animation.

At the time, working as a designer at an internet company, he had a"996 schedule"-working from 9 am to 9 pm, six days a week. The stress of work began to affect his sleep.

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