News

News

Listening and Recording Vienna “Super Librum”

October 17, 2019

As part of the II Historical Soundscapes Meeting – Évora 2019, Giovanni Cestino (LEAV) will present a paper on his Evening in the Old Town (2019), an audiovisual soundwalk of the Vienna city center based on European Sound Diary (1977). The presentation will take place at Auditório of Colégio Mateus de Aranda of the University of Évora, at 3:20pm.

Abstract

In 1975, Raymond Murray Schafer and his research group, the World Soundscape Project, toured in Northern Europe to study different rural and city soundscapes. A narrative account of the trip entitled European Sound Diary was among the results of that trip. The book combined excerpts from diaries by Schafer’s collaborators with city soundwalks to be performed by future readers. The soundwalk is an «excursion whose main purpose is listening to the environment» (Westerkamp), «a form of active participation in the soundscape» (Truax) introduced by the World Soundscape Project to promote critical listening. A soundwalk often comes, in its written form, as a map with verbal instructions, and may also prescribe soundmaking practice.
Nearly 45 years after the World Soundscape Project trip, I performed the Vienna soundwalk again, documenting my experience in a 17’ video realized with the support of the LEAV (Ethnomusicology and Visual Anthropology Lab, University of Milan). To enhance a first-person perspective, I shot a video with an action camera fastened on my head, and also wore DSM microphones as earphones. Subtitles, elicited from the original soundwalk, have been added in post-production as a step-by-step commentary, and serve as a touchstone of how the Vienna soundscape transformed through time. The result is an audiovisual product which works on multiple levels: while the audiovisual level mediates the researcher’s experience, subtitles stimulate the audience’s response to what they see/hear and what they read.
In this paper I will illustrate the case study, touching on the technical choices and narrative strategies I adopted. Particularly, I will dwell on how certain concrete problems – which arose in the making of – prompted a reflection on some theoretical concerns. This audiovisual soundwalk, based on a previous experience, revealed how the 1977 text can not only work as a prescriptive device, but also as an historical source and a script. Moreover, this multimedia product might provide an additional educational practice in acoustic ecology which joins Schafer’s historical ones. Lastly, this case study contributes to the discussion on the authenticity of documentary practice, and links with the actual debate on the concept of soundscape.

Gianni Siviero

October 10, 2019

The double CD is a musical tribute to the singer and songwriter Gianni Siviero, by his friends and colleagues, with graphics by Marco Nereo Rotelli. It is published by Edizioni Squilibri, and supported by the Club Tenco.

The presentation will be chaired by Sergio Secondiano Sacchi and Antonio Silva, and introduced by Maurizio Corbella and Nicola Scaldaferri.

The event will take place in the Sala Napoleonica of the University of Milan (via S. Antonio 12), at 5pm.

Poster

Brera Design Days 2019

October 7, 2019

The event is organized by the Brera Design Disctrict, and incude a talk and the screenig of the documentary Vjesh/Singing, by Rossella Schillaci. The film tells the passage between different generation of women of the repertoire of polyphonic song in the arbëresh villages of S. Costantino and S. Paolo, in Basilicata; beside the presence of the singers, there is the presence of historical recording and old amateur videos embedded in the plot of the story, that focus on daily life, including rituals and religious festivals, a wedding, and accounts of emigrants story.

After the screening, a conversation between the filmmaker and Nicola Scaldaferri, who collaborated for the musical and ethnographic research.

 

Program

Trailer

Lines of Sounding Bodies

September 1, 2019

#URLA. Sonic Meta Parade took place on September 1st in Matera, as the closing event of the Open Sound Festival. More than 250 performers, who followed a “geographical score” by composer Yuval Avital, engaged the audience in a two-hour procession through the Sassi district where traditional performers, folkloric masks and modern instruments blended in an engaging sonic dialogue. (More here)

To capture his firsthand experience of the event, Giovanni Cestino realized an immersive audiovisual recording, wearing an action camera on his head, and DSM microphones as earphones. (The same gear has already been used in another recent documentary, Evening in the Old Town.)

He thus captured a protean performance from different points of observation – sometimes admiring it from afar, sometimes merging with it. The result will be a highly-subjective audiovisual product which aims to highlight both the sonic complexity and the incredible visual and cultural variety of that artistic project.

 

 

Official program notes

A5_#URLA_screen (2)_compressed

 

Photographs by Monkeys VideoLab, Alida Guatri, and Giovanni Cestino.

Viaggio in Italia. Ethnomusic Video Mapping

September 14, 2019

The videotaping is realized by Karmachina with the musical research by Nicola Scaldaferri, and projected in Perugia on the facade of the cathedral, from 14 to 21 September 2019. It is inspired by the research of the American ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax who, together with Diego Carpitella, traveled through Italy to discover the extraordinary variety of traditional music in Italy, a country that is one of the most important areas of ethnomusicology, in terms of extension and variety.

Divided into five sacred movements and five profane interludes, it crosses the different geographical areas of Italy, from Sicily and Sardinia to the Alps.

The patrimony of sacred visual art preserved in Umbria illustrates the sacred polyphonic traditions; the work songs have as visual counterpoint the photographic and film repertoire of the 50s and 60s.

 

Program

Sagra Musicale Umbra Perugia videomapping

 

Link

 

Trailer

 

Music and Genocides

September 10, 2019

As part of an event organized by the association Nomus, Nicola Scaldaferri will held a conference on the relationship between music and genocides in the Ottoman Empire area. The conference will delve into some lesser-known (or completely unknown) cases, in which tragical historical events affected entire populations, discriminated against religious or ethnic basis. Musical practices bear traces of those stories, still echoing over the centuries in diasporic contexts. Visual and audio documentation – partly from the LEAV archives –  will help contextualising those cultural phenomena.
During the conference, an excerpt of Radio Genocide by Yuval Avital will be presented for the first time. In this work, the composer reworked archival sound and visual materials and propaganda broadcastings related to cases of genocide.

The event will take place in the Sala Conferenze of the Museo del Novecento at 5pm. A concert of rebetiko music will follow, featuring Emanuele Skoufas (tsouras, voice), Laura Pronestì (guitar), and Matteo Concina (percussions).

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