福爾摩沙,我的家 魏樂富的台灣詼諧曲

魏樂富的台灣詼諧曲
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2019 / 7月

文‧蘇俐穎 圖‧林旻萱


的確,身為一個外來物種,我不能自稱是台灣島上居留最久的住民,然而30年──從未間斷──也算不壞了。相較之下,魯賓遜可也只在28年後,就離開了他那虛構的荒島。
──魏樂富《福爾摩沙的虛構與真實》

音樂家魏樂富在他的散文集裡寫下這樣一段話。突如其來地拿自己與虛構人物魯賓遜作比,未免有些莫名,不過,循著文字線索閱讀下去,可不得了,他接著指出,原來魯賓遜也曾經造訪過台灣(福爾摩沙)。
這可不是空口話,典出自《魯賓遜漂流記》的續集《魯賓遜‧克魯索再次探險》:「當航向大洋時,我們持續朝著東北方,就像要駛往馬尼拉或菲律賓群島般;……然後我們轉向北方,直到抵達緯度22度30分之處,如此就直接到了福爾摩沙島。」 不過,這部在2011年付梓的小書,隨著時間之流,魏樂富的好奇心不減、幽默不減,只是身分已從外來客轉換成了本地人。


 

1978年,方滿24歲,剛從德國漢諾威音樂院畢業的魏樂富,就像魯賓遜的大冒險,踏上了遙遠的陌生地台灣。

這難道是因為,他的台灣妻子執意返台定居的緣故?非也,「當時,是他想來台灣看看。」魏樂富的伴侶,同時也是同窗、音樂家葉綠娜澄清地說。

雖說,台灣的音樂環境終究比不上古典音樂的發源地──西歐那樣地蓬勃、健全,但也由於西歐發展得早,即便是40年前,音樂市場也早已飽和,畢業生若想在大學裡謀教職,並不容易。

反觀當時台灣的音樂環境,正是古典音樂的處女地,才萌發、亟待建立的環境,賦予音樂家高度的自由,也讓人對未來懷有憧憬,「而且在台灣,我們可以在大學,教到最好的學生。」葉綠娜說。

就這樣,結了婚的魏樂富,以此為契機遠渡重洋,來到台灣進入大學執教。

即便歐亞距離並不是那麼遙遠,加上音樂家工作的特殊性,時常得在世界各地巡迴,孰料自此以後,魏樂富也就不曾再回到德國長居,頂多為期數月的暫留,說來,是真正以台灣為家。

而就在2018年7月,他在自家附近的台北大安區戶政事務所領到了台灣身分證,正式與你我一般成為名正言順的台灣公民。

一名德國人在台灣

作為一名曾經的異鄉人,魏樂富在台灣的生活自然有許多的驚奇(或者該說是不適應),「不過還年輕的時候,都可以忍耐。」他天來飛一句,令人忍俊不住。

最大的不同,正是德國人對於時間、空間的嚴謹與界線分明,不論私人空間、公共領域皆然。

深諳兩國民情大不同的葉綠娜解釋:「像是在德國人的家,東西都是有固定的位置,就算小孩子也不能隨便亂動。」這對於總是一派隨興的台灣人來說,簡直難以想像。

仔細觀察魏樂富與葉綠娜的家,大量的生活什物堆砌起的空間,卻自有邏輯,琴房裡的鋼琴上堆疊著大量琴譜,魏樂富說:「這是上課用的,還有最近會用到的。」至於書房裡,一大落一大落猶如圖書館一般的海量收藏,則嚴謹地按照ABC順序排放。

由於從事音樂教育,家裡時常有學生來上課學琴,魏樂富回憶,有一次家長陪同學生前來習琴,「家長一直說,老師不要忙、不要忙,然後自己走去開我們的冰箱,」魏樂富說,「這要是在德國,都可以叫警察了。」

據聞,空間邏輯條理分明的德國人,從進入小學開始,就得了解自己的居住地,包含座標、地理、水文、道路等,儼然不知自己在大千世界中的座標,就無以安身立命。

魏樂富也將這種精神,實踐在台灣。他以居住的台北市大安區為基地,騎著腳踏車穿街走巷,也繪製了地圖,標記出重要幹道,牢記於心,「我發現大安區的形狀像德國的普魯士國王──腓特列二世。」他秀出自己的手繪,乍看下還真有幾分肖似。

在新居地中疊合上對故鄉的回憶,想來這也是這名新住民,試圖扎根的方式吧。

幽默看台灣

像極了許多的德國人,魏樂富不笑的時候,鋼硬的臉部線條,看上去十分嚴酷,然而說起話來,一口外國腔的中文,夾雜著德語、英語,妙語如珠不斷,十足領略書中的詼諧文風,「文如其人」所言不虛。

因著文化差異甚大,魏樂富也鬧過不少笑話,尤其對外國人來說相當棘手的中文,常是引發誤會的主因,葉綠娜的回憶:「有一次朋友聊天,談結婚之後有許多事需要『妥協』,他問,結婚之後為什麼需要『脫鞋』?」

舉凡此類的笑話簡直不勝枚舉,「學生的家長打電話來,他問對方叫什麼,家長回答說『雙木林』,後來他叫了人家一個學期的雙太太,沒想到對方居然也接受了。」

「還有一次,他說他有一位學生叫『木子李』,我不信,他還要我打電話去,等我真的打過去說要找『木子李』,居然還真的找得到人。」台灣人對於外國人釋出的體貼與無聲的善意,令魏綠娜也覺得驚奇。

異質文化的激盪與碰撞,因著魏樂富的幽默以待,在生活裡演繹成一次次的驚奇。

又好比夫婦倆都喜歡骨董,在魏樂富與葉綠娜的家中,一眼望不盡的古物融入在生活空間中,從廟宇中搬來,繪製著門神的廟門、精工瑰麗的斗拱、多寶格的書櫃,以及大量的神像、人偶與動物雕塑……比一般人傳統的台灣家庭都來得古色古香。

不過,其中收藏數量最龐大,最令人注意,同時也令人發噱的,當屬那30幾只尿壺吧。

只見魏樂富將散落在家裡,被當成裝飾品擺設的尿壺聚在一塊兒展示,「這只的圖案很特別。」他指著其中一只有著細緻青花紋樣的,而這也是開啟他特殊收藏的起因。

魏綠娜想起無心插柳的收藏開端:「那是意外。有一次我們去台南,碰到一個骨董商,對方纏著要他買東西,被煩死了,他指著旁邊青花瓷問說,有沒有這種圖案的尿壺,結果居然真的有!只好就買下來。」消息一傳開來,也有別人主動餽贈,也有慕名前來兜售,數十年下來,不知不覺就成了如此可觀的數量。

40年來,異鄉生活的酸甜苦辣鹹,點滴於心,但若說有什麼遺憾,魏樂富不改冷面笑匠本色,回答:「剛來的時候,也不覺得自己會留在這裡,發生一些很誇張、很好玩的事,就會想說,等以後回德國,就可以拿出來跟朋友說,」但隨著身分的轉變,他戲劇性地表示遺憾:「結果,現在沒辦法了。」

畢竟現在,台灣、德國,都是「回家」。

德裔新住民,落地生根

2016年10月,終於盼到台灣政府修法開放承認雙重國籍,許多外籍人士開始積極爭取成為台灣的一份子。

不過,原先想以高級專業人才的途徑申請歸化的魏樂富,因為嚴格的語言考試,遲疑拖延再三。

他秀出自製厚厚一本的題庫本,表示歸化之路走來並不容易,一般申請者必須取得60分以上的成績才算及格。然而各種文言、拗口的問題,對外國人來說相當不易,就拿第一題為例:「依憲法規定,總統是由誰直接投票選舉產生的?」而並非簡潔明瞭地問:「誰可以投票選總統?」

不過,做事一向有板有眼的魏樂富,還是將問題列印出來,逐一註記音標、聲調、答案,甚至一題題地錄影,在覆誦的同時,搭配上誇張的手勢等肢體動作,努力想把折煞外國人的中文聲調記起來,「頭腦記不起來,但說不定身體可以記起來。」他開玩笑地說。

幸而後來發現,由於魏樂富與葉綠娜曾以雙鋼琴的專長,獲國家文藝獎章,改由殊勳途徑申請,不需經過考試,資料備齊後,短短十天就取得了身分證。

因著長年搭檔舉行音樂會,魏樂富與葉綠娜格外以雙鋼琴演出被大眾所識別、熟知,這一對鶼鰈情深的夫妻檔,首開先例在台北街頭連袂演出,在曾將鋼琴搬上台灣最高峰的玉山、阿里山的夫妻樹前表演。

他們說,四手聯彈與雙鋼琴演奏,不大相同,四手聯彈必須共享同一架鋼琴,受限於有限的琴鍵,踏板也只有一組,難免相互遷就;雙鋼琴一人一架鋼琴,自由度更高,發揮的可能性也更好。

他們的生活、工作,正像這特殊的表演形式,截然不同的背景、生活習慣,並沒有成為侷限,反倒因著多元,交響出和諧與獨特的生命樂章,「比起四手聯彈,雙鋼琴的豐富度、表現性都更好。」葉綠娜的一席話,彷彿在耳邊響起。                                        

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EN

Formosa Is My Home

Rolf-Peter Wille

Lynn Su /photos courtesy of Lin Min-hsuan /tr. by Phil Newell

“Certainly, as a foreign subject, I may not claim the longest residency in Taiwan, but 30 years—no parole—is not too bad. In comparison, Robinson Crusoe left his fictional island after only 28 years.”—Rolf-Peter Wille, Formosa in Fiction


 

In 1978 Rolf-Peter Wille, just turned 24 and recently graduated from the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media, arrived in the distant and unfamiliar land of Taiwan with the same sense of adventure as Robinson Crusoe.

Was this because his Taiwanese wife insisted that they settle in Taiwan? Not at all. “At that time, it was he who wanted to come to have a look at Taiwan,” clarifies musician Lina Yeh, Wille’s partner, who was also his classmate.

Although Taiwan’s musical environment cannot be compared to the vigorous and robust one of Europe, where classical music originated, because development in Europe started earlier than elsewhere, even 40 years ago the music market there was saturated, and it was not easy for graduates to get positions teaching in universities.

But back then, Taiwan was virgin soil for classical music. This gave musicians a great deal of freedom, and gave people reason to look forward to the future.

And so it was that the newlywed Rolf-Peter Wille traveled the great distance to Taiwan and began teaching in a university.

A German in Taiwan

As an outsider at first, there were naturally many surprises (or perhaps one should say things that were difficult to adapt to) for Wille in daily life in Taiwan. “However, I was still young then and I could put up with anything.” You can’t help but laugh when he says this.

The biggest difference was the strict understanding Germans have of space and of its clear boundaries. This not only applies to private space, but also to public space.

Lina Yeh, who understands well the great differences in the cultures of the two countries, explains: “For example, in German homes, everything has its designated place, and even children are not permitted to move things around as they please.” Taiwanese, who tend to be rather casual in this respect, find this very difficult to understand.

Because Wille’s profession is music education, often students come to his house to take piano lessons. Wille recalls that once a parent accompanied a student to a lesson. “The parent was continually saying, ‘Teacher, take it easy, take it easy,’ and then he went off and opened our refrigerator.” Says Wille, “If this happened in Germany, you could call the police.”

It is said that Germans, who have clear spatial logic, have to get to know the place where they live, including its coordinates, geography, hydrology, and roadways, beginning from their entry into primary school. It’s as if not knowing your own location in this vast world would make it impossible to settle down and get on with your life.

Wille brought this spirit into play in Taiwan. Starting off with the Da’an District of Taipei City, where he lives, he rode his bicycle through the streets and lanes, drew a map marking out the major roadways, and memorized it. “I discovered that Da’an District has a shape similar to Frederick II, the King of Prussia.” He shows us his hand-drawn map and at first glance there really is some resemblance.

Looking at Taiwan with humor

Like many Germans, when Wille is not smiling the hard lines on his face make him look quite stern. But as he speaks, in his foreign-accented Chinese sprinkled with German and English, witticisms pour forth. It matches the humorous writing style of his book—the phrase “the style mirrors the writer” is right on the nose.

The large cultural gap has given rise to many comical experiences for Wille. In particular, the Chinese language, which is quite difficult for foreigners, often causes misunderstandings. Lina Yeh recalls: “Once we were talking with a friend who said that after marriage there are many areas that require compromise [tuoxie in Chinese]. Wille asked, ‘Why do you have to take your shoes off [also pronounced tuoxie] after getting married?’”

Because Wille meets the collisions between hetero­geneous cultures with humor, one surprising event after another has played out in his life.

The couple both love antiques. Inside their home, there are so many old objects integrated into the living space that you can’t take them all in at first look. They have every­thing from an old temple door painted with door gods, beautifully crafted dou­gong (interlocking wooden brackets that link columns and crossbeams in traditional Chinese architecture), and miniature curio cabinets, to a large number of deity statues, puppets, and sculptures of animals. It has more of an atmosphere of antiquity than a typical traditional Taiwanese home.

However, the most numerous and eye-catching objects in his collection—the ones that make you laugh out loud—are his more than 30 urinal bottles, mostly antique ceramic ones.

As Wille gathers together the bottles, which are normally scattered about his home as decorative objects, to show them to us, he says: “The pattern on this one is very special.” He points to one with a delicate blue-green design on it and tells us it was the starting point for his unusual collection.

Yeh recalls the serendipitous origins of this collection: “This was not started on purpose. Once we were in Tainan and we met an antiques shop owner who kept pestering Rolf-Peter to buy something until he couldn’t stand it anymore. He pointed to some celadon porcelain, and asked whether the antiques dealer had a urinal bottle with the same design on it. Surprisingly enough he did, so we were left with little choice but to buy it!” Once word got out, some people donated bottles off their own bat, while others came forward to peddle some. Over decades his collection has grown, unplanned, to its now considerable size.

For the past 40 years, the joys and sorrows of life in a new land have percolated into Wille. But when asked if he has any regrets, he replies, deadpan as ever: “When I first got here, I didn’t think I would stay. Whenever anything ridiculous or funny happened, I would say to myself, ‘Wait until you get back to Germany, you can tell these stories to your friends.’” But now that his status in Taiwan has changed, he dramatically expresses regret: “Now I’ll never be able to do that!”

For now, both Taiwan and Germany are “home.”

A German immigrant sets down roots

In October of 2016, the government of Taiwan finally changed the law to recognize dual citizen­ship, and many foreigners began actively trying to become citizens of Taiwan.

However, Wille, who originally thought to apply for naturalization under the category of “high-level professionals,” continually hesitated and delayed his application because of the rigorous language exam.

As he shows us a very thick book of sample questions, a book that he compiled himself, he says the path to naturalization is by no means easy. In general applicants must get a grade of 60 or higher to pass the language test.

However, the orderly and methodical Wille printed out the questions and one by one added the pro­nunci­ation in Romanization complete with tones, along with the answers. He even made a video for each of the questions, reading the question and his answer into the camera and accompanying his voice with exaggerated hand gestures and body movements in an effort to memorize the correct tones to use in pronouncing the words. “Perhaps my body would remember what my brain couldn’t,” he jokes.

Fortunately they later discovered that because Wille and Lina had won a National Cultural Award for their expertise in piano duos, they could file Wille’s application under the category of “persons who have made special contributions to Taiwan.” This category does not require an exam, and after gathering all necessary documentation, in only ten days he received his ID card.

Because they have put on concerts together for many years, Wille and Yeh are especially well known among the public for their piano duo performances. This devoted couple first set a precedent by performing on the streets of Taipei, and later even had pianos transported onto Taiwan’s highest mountain, Yushan (Mt. Jade) to play, and onto Ali­shan (Mt. Ali) to perform in front of the “Tataka Couple Trees”—a pair of ancient trees beside Provincial Highway 21, called the “husband and wife trees” in Chinese.

They say that piano duos (two pianists playing separ­ate pianos) are not very similar to piano duets (two pian­ists sharing one piano). For piano duets, given the limits of the single keyboard and the fact that the piano has only one set of pedals, inevitably each of the players must learn to accommodate the other. Piano duos, on the other hand, offer greater freedom and more opportunities to bring one’s skills into play.

Their lives and work are just like this unique performance form. Though they come from different backgrounds, with different customs and ways of life, these have not become limitations. Rather, because of their diversity, they have created a symphony of harmony and a unique lifestyle. “Compared to piano duets, piano duos are richer and more expressive.” These words of Lina Yeh seem to ring in one’s ears.                       

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