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Venician Enrico Coniglio Field Recording MP3

There’s a gap between the Touch Music record label and its ongoing MP3 series, TouchRadio. While Touch album releases generally focus on processed sound, the sound on TouchRadio is generally unprocessed. The recent entries on TouchRadio have been raw field recordings, framed by the discerning ear of the recordist and by the broader context of the Touch cultural engine.

TouchRadio just released its 30th entry, a 23-minute audio tour of Venice, titled “Sapientumsuperacquis” (MP3). The microphone technology was in the hands of Enrico Coniglio, who describes the situation as follows in the accompanying text:

As part of an ongoing series of recordings of unusual sounds of the Venice lagoon, these tracks were made on 29th april 2008 at 2100 in a night-depot of boats of the public transport service at “Riva dei Schiavoni”, not far from San Marco square.

Headphones are recommended. Recorded 24/96, with binaural stereo mic.

“Sapientum super acquis” is the title attribuited to the “Magistrato alle acque” of the Serenissima Venetian Republic, an organ istituited on 1501 by the “Council of ten”, that had the job of keeping safe the delicate natural/artificial balance of the lagoon, and looking after the “health” of the water.

Today the water is mostly polluted because of Porto Marghera, one of the biggest industrial areas in the whole Europe.

The burbling of water provides a thick scrim through which are heard industrial noise, conversations, the creak of waterborne structures, footsteps and more. It’s the perfect background music for an afternoon spent reading a China Miéville novel, the sort of tale in which the dank urban setting exists thanks to a tentative compromise with the fetid mote that surrounds it.

The track was originally posted at touchmusic.org.uk.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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