Empremtes Sonores / Huellas Sonoras

2011 | soundscape research, field recording, interactive sound map, blog, photography, electroacoustic composition

Commissioned by Inland-Campo Adentro: Art, Agricultures and Countryside.
Produced in collaboration with ACVIC Arts Centre, Sant Bartomeu del Grau Municipality and Radio Aporee.

Empremtes Sonores is a sound mapping project of Sant Bartomeu del Grau, a small town situated in the region of Lluçanes-Osona in Catalonia, developed during a residency in the locale. The project was aimed to investigate the specifics of this territory through the perspective of the ear (‘points of listening’), approaching the most singular elements referring to its ‘identity’ and less obvious sonic aspects of the environment which remain ‘unheard’. In a broader sense, the work aims to stimulate a more attentive listening, raising awareness towards the sonic environment as an intangible aspect which is integral to the experience of each territory.

The main output of the project is an interactive sound map containing ‘sonic images’ (phonographies / field recordings) spread in more than seventy spots within the town and surroundings. This digital cartography was complemented with the publication of a blog and a photobook documenting the fieldwork and a composition based on the recordings.

Created through extensive field work in Sant Bartomeu (residency blog) in collaboration with the inhabitants, the online sound map features natural ambiences, labour activities, everyday life, traditional music, celebrations and sonic impressions of a currrently semi-abandoned massive factory which still lies in the hearth of the town (geographically and in the memory of the people as well). The cartography can be interpreted as a (possible) ‘portrait’ and also as an ‘abstraction’ of this territory. It is both a document and a trigger for imagination. The map is embedded in the global sound mapping project Radio Aporee Maps and all the content is made available for further use under copyleft.

Listening on headphones or good quality speakers is encouraged.

A local exhibition took place in 14-30 Sep 2011. The project was presented in a group show with all the participating projects of the first residency programme in La Casa Encendida, Madrid and further group exhibitions in 2012 and 2013.

SBG#1 is a composition created with sound materials from the project. The piece was premiered in Medialab Prado Madrid on 14th September 2011 and released on a cd compilation by the festival (h)ear #2: the Art of Sound, in Heerleen, Netherlands, 2012.

Special thanks to: Silvia Janöskova, Udo Noll, Mikel R. Nieto, Manuel Calurano, Cal Xico, Bar Caribe, Silvia, Merçe, Joan, Marichel, Quim, Julio, Lluis, Grallers de St Bartomeu, Joan Sales, Josep Salvans, Said Ouchan, Familia Musoll, Familia Baulenas, Maite Palomo, Eli Wenceslao, Carles Arumi, Ramón Parramón and Miquel Sitjá.

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