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Tempo Reale - Villa Strozzi - Via Pisana 77 50143 Firenze
Scientific & Music Program May 20-22 2011



Stefano ZORZANELLO Multilevel sound maps in digital sound cartography

In this presentation we intend to illustrate an epistemological research, still in a nascent state, in which we try to answer the question "what are the implications of
soundscape research today"? We summarize the approaches observed in current research, identifying four main directions in literature, in which the differing focus
and inclination towards the qualitative and quantitative data not only would seem to distinguish and characterize the directions themselves but also, occasionally,
constitute a barrier that impedes a true interdisciplinary approach, or even constitute a unique discipline of so-called soundscape studies. Conversely, if one considers the tool of geographic cartography that historically represents a powerful form of knowledge, control, and territorial planning in which qualitative and quantitative data co-exist, brought together by a creative, cognitive and transformational goal. Moreover, sound mapping forcefully introduces temporal issues within a traditionally static form of representation (graphic-photographic). In this framework, the recent development and wide availability of GPS technology, the resulting creation of themed, potentially multilevel, sound maps demand a much-needed assessment of the changed relationship between maps and the territory, of the former's impact on the latter, of how this can affect our current perception of the world. Offering us the opportunity of a syn-optic and syn-aural experience, the multilevel digital sound map is capable of modifying the sense of the perceived in relation to the perceivable, expressing all the possible relations between space and time, transfer and deferral. The representation of sounds, times, of "here" and "elsewhere" can take place according to every possible interpretation, from the DeciBel to the description of individual sensations, with reference to the present, the past and future (imagined through projection).
Therefore as a theoretical tool it offers a flexibility that can satisfy diverse disciplinary approaches that today characterize soundscape studies, and can act as a model to define their current scientific statute. Finally, as concerns the acoustic experience in loco in the real world, we highlight some potential limitations and negative effects (in the protracted length), in relation to the artificial sensorial environment offered by the tool itself, effects that can be attributed to the loss both of multi-sensorial perception and of sound direction. These limits should be counter-balanced with direct listening experiences in non-virtual environments.

Stefano Zorzanello
Musician, researcher and sound designer, born in Vicenza in 1969. As a flautist, soprano saxophonist and using laptop computer, he has played solo and in groups at the main festivals and recitals dedicated to contemporary music and improvisation, in Italy, and in various European countries and Australia, with, among others: Dietmar Diesner, Chris Cutler, Phil Minton, Jon Rose, Paolo Angeli, Eyvind Kang, Otomo Yoshihide, Fernando Grillo, Nicolas Roseeuw, Frank Schulte, Thomas Lehn, Alvin Curran. He has composed music for cinema and for theatrical works directed by Giorgio Barberio Corsetti and João Grosso. His compositions have been performed by ensembles and orchestras: Mistress, Fred Frith Guitar Quartet, Eva Kant Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra of the Municipal Theatre of Bologna, musicians from the Arena Orchestra in Verona, Playground Ensemble, Onda Mediterranea. Stefano Zorzanello currently resides in Catania, and over recent years has studied acoustic ecology and
soundscapes, dedicating part of his teaching activity and scientific articles to the theme.

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