Cathedrals: Pietro Riparbelli Audio Archive Project

cathedrals riparbelli

“I have always been fascinated by sacred places and by the atmosphere of contemplative peace and I have always listened to and recorded their acoustic environments. At some point I felt the need to transform this passion of mine into a proper project directly linked to my activity as a sound researcher. That’s how I started Cathedrals, which is a sort of sound archive collecting material from cathedrals, churches, and other sacred places. This material will be used in other projects such as sound installations or recordings.”

– Pietro Riparbelli

Pietro Riparbelli is a philosopher, composer and sound-multimedia artist based in Livorno, Italy. Among his compositional and recording practices, he has been running a project called Cathedrals, conceived as an archive of sound recordings in ancient cathedrals.

The collection features over 70 releases of field recordings taken in many different cathedrals from all over the world, several of them recorded by Riparbelli, but many other contributed by several field recordists from different sides of the world, resulting in an interesting cybernetic soundscape, in which as Sven Schlijper says,

Riparbelli presents splendid aural documents or dioramas. It is man that makes these spaces resound, with his steps, speech, any sound generating activity. This is a dialogue determined by acoustic premises, enabling us to experience ourselves in the space of a sound. It also provides the possibility to engage in a retroactive dialogue between the sound of the self versus the sound of a space”.

This architectonic, but also deeply spiritual and cultural places, offer a very special sound, not only in the way we can feel the reverberation of the echoes collapsing together, but also because of the transformation implied in the different sonic events that fluctuate in relationship with the virtuality of space, thus creating an interesting atmosphere, a feeling of an ubiquity and sense of being somewhere and nowhere at the same time.

More info: Cathedrals