Words. Words that sound

  • DATE
    until February 9, 2024
    Historical Archive of the Municipality of Modena

Words. Words that sound is an artistic project to reread the documents preserved in the Historical Archives of the Municipality of Modena through their sound regeneration based on a data sonification process.

Drawing on the series of resolutions of the Modena City Council from the fifteenth to the twentieth century, the ritual formulas for the onset and opening of the first session of each register were transcribed every ten years, written according to the period in Latin, vernacular and Italian, with the aim of highlighting the transformations that institutional language has undergone over time and reflecting on the underlying social changes.

The over 3000 text strings selected in this way were then digitized and inserted into a self-generating algorithmic model, built by combining modern voicing techniques with traditional musical grammar, to convert the words into code and the code into sound.

The sounds thus produced were then recomposed into an organic musical score, thanks to the work of Giuseppe Cordaro, composer and sound designer, and Corrado Nuccini, musician and art director.

The final result is an original processing of sounds composed of field recordings, electronic music, words and noises, archival research and artificial intelligence, capable of evoking the rituality and solemnity that have accompanied the ‘ institutional word’ in the City Council.

The work is further enriched thanks to the sound commentary by Enrico Gabrielli on flute and clarinet and by Adele Altro on saxophone, created for the FestivalFilosofia 2023 during the inaugural live performance.

The site-specific installation in the spaces of the Historical Archive visually amplifies the sonic scope of listening in a continuous exchange between reality and artifice, art and technology, past and future.

The project is conceived and promoted by the Department of Culture of the Municipality of Modena and is the result of the collaboration between the Historical Archive and the Music Center of the Municipality of Modena as part of the Modena UNESCO creative city for the Media initiatives Arts.

Guided tours Saturday 18 November 2023 and Saturday 10 February 2024 at 10.30 am

info info.archivio.storico@comune.