When Andrea Dipa and Jack Sapienza launched their Sampling World series in September of last year, they set out to discover and capture the character of a city through its sounds. Today, however, as the coronavirus pandemic keeps people in their homes, those sounds are few and far between.
“It’s weird because the city feels [noisier] to me now than before,” says Dipa. The latest entry in the series takes a more stripped back, controlled approach than previous iterations. Unable to make non-essential trips, their sampling radius was limited to the distance between home and the supermarket. “Before the quarantine, you could hear a distinct white noise to which we were all accustomed. Now that it’s gone, there’s more space for other distinct and precise sounds to capture our attention, so that our brain can process them.”
While Dipa admits collecting enough samples to complete the project was “definitely harder” than previous entries, these limitations simply forced him to embrace more of the sounds that his brain had previously tuned out — including his own breathing. “It’s a sound that I got to explore and know better in this period, thanks mainly to the silence in the streets and the mask,” he details. “That’s why I decided to use it.”
Inspiration for this entry came from myriad sources, with Dipa and Spaienza taking time to allow themselves to get more conceptual with the project while listening to dystopian movie soundtracks for reference. Consequently, the time he invested in the track was “way longer” than previous episodes. “The challenge for me was to create an instrumental track that described the right atmosphere,” he shares. As far as the acoustic future of the city is concerned, “I guess that with time everything will come back to what it was,” Dipa states. “Or at least, that’s what we all hope.”