Alessandra CALANCHI| IT |




Listening to unexplored landscapes: how auditory perception changed during the Italian lock-down due to the Covid-19 pandemic (April-May 2020). A case study.





“Unheard landscapes” is something that reminds me of our alienated and alienating experience of the soundscape during the covid-19 lockdown. Never before had I heard so many birds singing in the early hours of the morning, and never before had I heard so few voices from the playground next to my home. Is this the soundscape of the future? Or is it just an unexplored sound scenario? What is sure is that the auditory perception changed considerably in the period under examination (April-May 2020), so as to affect our listening experiences and transform the places we inhabited into new environments by increasing our awareness of our own capacities to hear the sounds that surround us. In particular, at Urbino University I launched a project with two colleagues of mine, psychologist Elena Acquarini, and independent film director Andrea Laquidara. Through this project, whose name was “Call Us Ishmael”, we wanted to encourage students, teachers, and any person who had some working or living relations with the town to send their visual and sonic impressions in the lockdown period. My aim is to read aloud a selection of excerpts from the amazing texts we received, also providing a close analysis from the perspective of soundscape studies. I hope this work can both give a contribution to the development of sound awareness and create a durable sense of community among readers and listeners, encouraging them to actively participate in our projects.


Alessandra Calanchi is associate professor of Anglo-American Literature and Culture at the University of Urbino Carlo Bo (Italy). She has been researching in the field of soundscape studies for some years, and is the co-editor of a book series for Edizioni Galaad (Soundscapes /Alberi Saggi) with A. Laquidara. She has participated in many international conferences as a speaker (Florence, Rome, Paris, Trento, Salamanca, Lecce) and organized three seminars in Urbino (2013, 2015, 2018). She also published several essays and volumes, the most recent of which is Vol 19, No 1 (2020) of the magazine LINGUAE & Rivista di Lingue e Culture Moderne, intitolato Soundscapes. Listening to British and American Languages and Cultures (2020) It is an FKL member and co-founder of the Sound Studies Forum (2020) She is currently carrying out the “Prospettive sonore/Sound perspectives” project at the University of Urbino with her colleagues M. Corsi, J. M. I. Klaver, and M. Russo.


Italian CV