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What the city sounds like

A short report on our 5 months of Foreste Elettriche / Electric Forests in Pesaro, welcomed by Labirinto social cooperative and made in collaboration with Gra' - non solo cibo da cortile, within the activities of "Piano Pianissimo/Forte Fortissimo”and Oceano Adriatico, a musical initiative conceived for  Pesaro 2024  - Italian Capital of Culture.

24 February: the Old Town

Our adventure begins in February, when we met the 25 participants - as many as 50 ears! - ready to explore the hidden electric sound of various places in the city of Pesaro.

On this first occasion we unveiled an educational tool that we designed just for this project: it is a SOUND DIARY imagined to facilitate the listener’s access to the natural soundscape and to initiate them to the practices of conscious listening. Eeviac took care of the design, layout and graphics of the Diary, while Merrich gathered exercises, quotes and inspirations from the practices of important authors who dedicated their lives to listening  - such as Oliveros, Westerkamp, Anderson, Lockwood, Schafer.

Each participant received a Sound Diary to be filled out and used over the coming months.

The first day of listening to Pesaro’s Foreste Elettriche / Electric Forests took place in the historic heart of the city, between a rain and a clearing, surrounded by the crowd that had gathered in the center for the ignition of the Biosphere made by Artifact Studio in Piazza del Popolo, the symbol of  "Pesaro Capital of Culture 2024".

16 March: the Train Station

The second appointment of the Foreste Elettriche has led our ears to discover a place really curious for its sounds: the small train station of the city.

Between ticket vending machines, high-speed trains and parking machines, our ears have enjoyed a great deal of wonder.

We found the most sensation and iconic sound of this city just outside the station: it is the automatic parking bar, a real groovy gem!

During this second session, the participants began to have more confidence with the world of hidden electromagnetic sounds and someone, timidly, also began to record them…

20 April: the Shopping Mall

But it is in this gloomy April 20 that our ears are shaken by the most mysterious and wonderful sound of all... It is a rhythmic and harmonious Jingle that one of our listeners discovered trilling in the back of the perimeter wall of a hairdresser. A truly melodic and rhythmic sound whose origin will remain, forever, unknown! Part of the appeal of the Foreste Elettriche is also this: not everything can be known.

This third event also brought a bit more theoretical knowledge, thanks to the infographics designed and created by eeviac to explain the origins of the sounds that we can (or can’t) listen to with SOMA’s Ether devices, our faithful companions of adventure.

Between a Swedish train and a microwave beam, even this beautiful day spent listening to the secret sounds of a shopping center ended with wonder and wonder.

11 May: the Seafront

With the beautiful season, we could not miss an exploratory walk along the promenade and the square gathered around the "Big Sphere" by Arnoldo Pomodoro, a shiny sculpture overlooking the Adriatic placed in a circle of water in the green.

The ubiquitous companion of this listening session was the large Panoramic Wheel that dominates the profile of the coastline, with its insistent hissing and its sudden acceleration motions.

In previous months we had already had the opportunity to observe how the natural soundscape of the square was decidedly complex and challenging to listen to and so we proposed to our friends listeners to create a sound map of the place, before we dive into electromagnetic analysis....

Personal and creative, the maps of the participants' soundscapes revealed the essence of a place strongly colonized by the human being, where even the noise of the sea and the crashing of the waves passed into the background. The Panoramic Wheel, with its intrusiveness has not left serene the listenings of many…

08 June: le Foreste Elettriche of your home

The last appointment of our listening sessions was dedicated to the objects that each of us has at home, thus closing an analysis that started from the macro - the electric atmosphere of the historic center of a city - to end in the privacy of homes.

We asked listeners to bring to GRA' – official base camp of L’Impero della Luce in Pesaro, from 1 to 3 household electrical items to be explore. We found ourselves listening to the sound of a hair straightener, an electric razor, of an electric toothbrush charger, a usb power supply, a LED flashlight, a minipimer and even a heart Holter!

The most beautiful thing was to present our Electrions to the participants and see them having fun in really promising musical improvisations! 

We could not imagine a better conclusion for our journey together: now The Empire of Light can count on other new and crazy ambassadors ❤

Bottom line: how does a city sound???

A city resounds of the people who live it, cross it, animate it.

A city sounds thanks to the precious relationships and exchanges, the support, the curiosity, the care and the small attentions that everyone can lend to the world.

In these 5 months we have met special people: not only the listeners who followed with us the whole path – or a part of it, but also all the invisible forces that gravitated like mad electrons around the Foreste Elettriche, making its existence possible. How can we thank Giuliano and all the girls and boys of GRA' - Non solo cibo da cortile, who followed us every month, fed and quenched our thirst? And what about Vittorio, Claudia and Valeria of Cooperativa Labirinto who put legs and heart to this project, after having so desired it?

In these 5 months we met new friends and discovered once again that silence does not exist, even when trying to do Piano Pianissimo... because there are always hearts and souls that beat Forte Fortissimo.

Hello Pesaro, we are sure that we will see you soon!  ❤

In this postcard from Pesaro one of the group we worked with


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