Becoming Sound


A sound mapping of sacred places
A project by Pietro Riparbelli in collaboration with Alessio Ballerini



Becoming sound is a site-specific sound art project that wants to show the creating process behind a work of art, until the final realization.
The project is developed in three steps:

1 – a sound mapping of the cathedrals of city that hold the project
2 – a sound installation
3 – a sound-performance realized with the sound sources recorded inside the cathedrals


Description of sound mapping:

Audio recordings will be captured within the major churches of the city. This documentation will be re-proposed as an archive within the museum, through CD players and headphones. The sound material will be accompanied by pictures representing the churches themselves.

A soundmap is a form of locative media that links a place and its sonic representations. It is an example of the personalized map content described alternately as web mapping and neogeography. Soundmaps convey the soundscape of a place, often by organizing multiple soundmarks or “community sounds which is unique, or possesses qualities which make it specially regarded or noticed by the people in that community” in a web-based map.

The sound mapping project is connected to the archaeoacoustic research.
You can listen to and read some examples of archaeoacoustic visiting the following link:


Description of the Sound Installation:

The sound installation consists of reproduction of a sound composition – through a Dolby surround sound system – realized with the sound sources recorded during the mapping process of the most representative churches of the city.

The sound of the composition will be spread within the place to create a perceptive soundscape.
A seat will be present in the place, indicating the best place to listen to the work and at the same time a place for meditation.

Opposite to the seat a light beam on a screen will be projected. ** Audio Reference:


Description of the sound performance:

The sound-performance will be played during the vernissage. The sounds, taken from the church during the sound mapping, will be transformed and reprocessed through analog technologies in order to obtain an hypnotic and meditative sound.
You can listen to an extract from the reprocessing recordings by visiting the following links:

Alessio Ballerini and Pietro Riparbelli will be the conductors of the performance.
Through the live set and the entire project we are facing a re-signification of spaces. In this context, a re-signification of the exhibition space which is inhabited by the sound of sacred places.
This work want to introduces a survey on the sound closely related to the study about architecture and to the sound diffusion in architectural.

Live performance at Nub Project Art Space (released on tape)



Becoming sound, was born from the intention to consider a sacred place and an exhibition space as the only context in which the action takes place.
The cathedrals consisted of carved books: they hosted depictions of biblical scenes or episodes of local history, responding to the function of instructing the believers and spreading the great narratives through a language of symbols. The same architectural criteria followed for the building of the great cathedrals were linked to the symbol and to precise geometry and mathematics laws. They often sought the “divine proportion” which according to ancient primarily Leonard Fibonacci (1175-1235), was given by the golden section

But the cathedral was also conceived as a “place for the sound,” allowing the perfect spread of the same and hosting an organ specially constructed and assembled on site in relation to the size of the architecture.

This work is also the development of the (ongoing) project “Cathedrals”: that is a sound mapping of various cathedrals.
From this project Pietro Riparbelli has realized the album “4 churches,” edited by Touch.