Emiliano BATTISTINI | IT |



"Different Waves": listening to the unheard soundscape of the Northern Adriatic Sea




The European Project Interreg Italy-Croatia “SOUNDSCAPE: Soundscapes in the North Adriatic Sea and their Impact on Marine Biological Resources” provides for a systematic monitoring, through buoys equipped with hydrophones, of the underwater noise in the Northern Adriatic Sea, both in Italian and Croatian waters. The aim is to measure and to map the bias of anthropic activities (platforms, nautical traffic, coastal tourism, etc.) on the underwater sonic environment, to evaluate the potential impact on marine species and, finally, to develop a plan for the sustainable use of marine and coastal sources. Examining spatial and temporal windows that previously were difficult to control (all the coasts of the Northern Adriatic Sea, all along the course of year 2020), these underwater recordings are very important because they provide a whole representation of the local marine sonic environment, an “unheard soundscape” yet: in fact, the noise pollution has never been measured in the Adriatic Sea until now. Besides the scientific relevance, and in a more general way, these recordings provide the possibility for us, as human beings, to “put an ear underwater” and to have a clearer idea – in a heuristic way through the sense of hearing – of the identity and life of sea inhabitants, allowing us to “tune” us with them. For instance, the clear listening to the different dolphin echolocation calls allows us to depict them as living beings not far from us but, at the same time, having a proper life and dignity that fall outside of human activity and existence. Or, also, the listening to the deafening sound produced by a fishing vessel passing on the recording buoy allows us to realize the degree of destructiveness of anthropic noise in underwater context. To share this kind of listening that put us in contact with marine beings and for the will to communicate to the broad public the ecological importance of this European project, the Fondazione Cetacea (Ceatacean Foundation) of Riccione (Rimini, Italy) asked us as Ground-to Sea Sound Collective to create a show that would be start from the underwater recordings. “Different Waves” born in this way, as a sonic performance that reworks in a creative way, in the form of a concert-installation, sounds by different dolphins and motor vessels, two different kinds of “marine sonic waves” that find themselves to confront each other in the Adriatic Sea, as in many other seas of the world. Through an interdisciplinary approach that mix Bioacoustic, Semiotics, Sound Art and Music, and with the help of sonic and audiovisual documentation, we will describe the different step of this awareness raising project that concern underwater soundscape, a soundscape that is in many respects “unheard” yet.


Emiliano Battistini is a musician, researcher, and teacher. Graduated in Guitar and in Musical Instrument Pedagogy, he works in the field of soundscape nationally and internationally since 2011, through solo projects (Dreamscapes) and collective projects (Ground-to-Sea Sound Collective, Migrant Landscapes, Vin Voix Valais, RIU Project, Rimini Soundmap), creating concerts, site-specific installations, expositions, and workshops. In 2015 he won the Prix Giuseppe Englert (CH) with a project on the sonic identity of Wallis Canton (CH) related to the wine world. He attended workshops with Bernard Fort (field recording), Albert Mayr (soundwalk) and Pierre Mariétan (listening). Graduated in Semiotics, in 2019 he received his PHD in European Cultural Studies at Palermo University (IT). He gave classes on soundscape at the University of Palermo, Bologna, and Lausanne, at the Academy of Fine Arts of Bologna, and at Bologna Conservatory where he has been contract professor in Electroacoustic Composition (Soundscape Composition). He is Guitar Teacher in Italian Public Secondary School.