Francesco MICHI, Mechi CENA | IT |




Pensieri sparsi per un ascolto "sentimentale" / Scattered thoughts for a "sentimental" listening




Our participation is constructed as a kind of "stream of consciousness" that describes, in part wanders on daily listening, and links the perception, the known, and thought). It tries, in a way, to create a sort of parallel listening that connects the existing with the imagined, with the memory, with the desired, and a lot more. Many people think that listening is a naturally unavoidable perception (there are no 'eyelids' for the ears). However, the aggressiveness of contemporary soundworlds is leading us to a kind of cognitive deafness, towards the perceptive insignificant. In any case, it stays true that listening develops on different levels and triggers different reflections. We could call them resonances. Listening is not "instantaneous", each sound develops over time and this allows our conscience to a less immediate perception compared with sight, the so-called "first glance": the ego that perceives listening is continuously processing new data connected to those just perceived, in order to get to understand. The intent is to highlight the passage from more superficial listening to a more attentive, evocative, or structural listening, the overlapping of memories, reflections, and more or less experienced acoustic similes, in a narrative continuum underlined by the coexistence of different dimensions of listening. Let's try to call this type of listening 'parallel', a practice that tends to bring out different contemporary dimensions of listening, even trivial ones, but which are considered capable of activating critical reflections. The recent period of the reclusion, of the so-called lockdown, gives us the particular experience of listening to the usual places, to the places we are familiar with, but filled with different contents: some of these contents are present because the changed reality has recalled new sources (generally living forms ), other contents were present before too, albeit in the background or confused. These tell us about the hidden sound qualities of space, though they are already present during the usual listening. Some reflections of our contribution refer in part to this experience and its particularities. The development of this activity through the medium of narration seems the most suitable one for the identification of the process. Reading or hearing about sound allows you to imagine it, it refers to experiences that recall others and others, and so on; it gives way to a flow that goes in parallel with the sound that normally constitutes the listener's soundscape. It deals with being perceptually immersed in a sound context and at the same time in other ones, according to the alternation of our concentration. In the presentation, we will try to highlight the coexistence of multiple listening plans through projection and dialogued and/or recited parts. Experimenting with the flow of consciousness technique is another step in the investigation that we carried out for some years, about narration as a tool for investigating the ways of listening, about the communication (introverted and extroverted) of the experience of listening to the world.


Mechi Cena studied electronic music and computer music at the Conservatory of Turin and then in the Conservatory of Florence. In the meanwhile he worked as a sound engineer in a recording studio and with Leo de Berardinis Theatre Company. Around mid-'80s, he wrote for RAI “Radio Tomography” in 25 episodes and “Nel cuore delle tenebre” (“In the darkness’ heart”) in 12 episodes, which he both produced and directed. He quitted the artistic activity to start it again in 2004; since then he wrote nine night tales for radio broadcasting entitled "The powerful soul of trains", being a speaker, author and director; then "L'Essere Rumoroso"(two series) and “Suonetti”(with Francesco Michi), both produced by RTSI Lugano.

Francesco Michi lives and works in Florence, where he graduated in Philosophy and then in Electronic Music. He works along two main lines of research: the experimentation of creative approaches through technological, poor, and daily use materials, and at the same time the study of the acoustic environment and its changes. In 2003 set up ARTECO with Elsa Mersi and Anton Roca. He is the Italian coordinator of the international association for soundscape FORUM KLANGLANDSCHAFT (FKL) since March 2009. Starting in 1999 he works on music and the Web, both as a theorist and a web-based sound designer: with Albert Mayr, Anton Roca, and Luca Miti, he takes part to AEFB (Aesthetic Flow Bureau), which website hosts his last works. In 2007, 2008, and 2012 he realized with Mechi Cena two series of "L'Essere Rumoroso" and “Suonetti”, radio programs on the sound produced and broadcasted by the Swiss Radio RTSI2.