Interactive diaries

A. Ballerini has been selected as sound artist for the international project Interactive Diaries
Rome, Italy / Belgrade, Serbia / Cairo, Egypt

Below the project that has been realized:

Ancona is a small town in central Italy. It overlooks the Adriatic sea and the port is linked to the residential area. From the point of view of sound, like other cities, it has different key notes (besides sound marks and sound signals), that is sounds which may not be consciously heard, but highlight the features of the people who live in a given place. The key notes are still confined and hardly acoustically invade other city spots. This is because of the low-fi soundscape of urban centers, where the ratio between signal/ noise is low and on the other hand the level of background noise is high and does not allow to perceive distant sounds even if only 100m far (sometimes less). The key notes of Ancona’s city centre are its traffic, the areas in the industrial port and the railway station. There are nonetheless a lot of parks included the Conero natural park (with its gorgeous sea), real green spaces where you can find silence and peace.

On the day 11th October Alessio Ballerini has recorded the port’s key note from the duomo on the top of a hill, just above the whole area of the industrial port. The recordings were made at 10 am, at 6 pm at sunset and at 10pm.


Morning: the port area is buzzing even though it is Saturday. The machines are being operated and you can hear them loud at distance. Besides a powerful background drone you can hear sounds coming from single pieces of machinery, which make the listening experience very intriguing. The feeble tweeting of birds on the surrounding trees can be heard all around the recording spot.

Evening: The sounds haven’t changed since morning, the frequency spectrum is still filled with noise even though considerably subsided and the single sounds, deadened too, emerge from the drone so as to mark the rhythm of man’s work. In the background you can hear twitters but the birds are fewer than in the morning.

Night: the noise produced by the machinery is lower and has become background noise, is dying down. The night insects have replaced the birds and come to the foreground.


For the installation Ballerini has created a stereo track mixing the field recordings picked up at the port area of Ancona with the tracks recorded in Egypt and Serbia. Ballerini has  followed the time sequence of the stereophonic recording, morning, evening and night, aiming at constructing a fourth soundscape, unique in itself, which spanned the whole day.