Lopa | Enrico Coniglio


Lopa | Enrico Coniglio
GrDl 217 | Gruen Digital > [order]


This work brings together recordings mostly collected in liminal areas around Venice, along the docks of the Marittima area, close to the urban district of Santa Marta, the Tronchetto island, and other small islands of the lagoon. The recordings were taken using diaphragm, binaural, hydrophones, contact microphones, and electromagnetic sensors. The sessions took place during winter, in the evening, as to minimize human presence, and emphasize the „voice of the environment“. I use this expression to highlight the distinctive sound of the location, now deeply affected by over tourism, , which has profoundly changed the city’s soundmark. The aim of Lopa is to evoke, through music, the soundscape of an evacuated city.The lockdown imposed by the Government in the spring of 2020, the restrictions on leaving residences or traveling, resulted in a near-complete vacancy of public spaces within the city, giving rise to an almost surreal Venice. Due to this, the hush of the pandemic unintentionally brought the dimension of listening to the forefront, transforming Absence into an amplifying factor for the acoustic signals surrounding us.


Among the motivations behind this work is the need to explore the multitude of narratives of Venice. I often contemplate my approach to the practice of field recording, where one cannot solely be guided by curiosity or astonishment. Research cannot be solely entrusted to chance – which nonetheless plays a fundamental role – of finding oneself in a certain situation at a given moment. The issue revolving around field recording relates to the ontological peculiarity of sound, namely the extemporaneity of the sonic event. Every audio recording is, in fact, a reduction of reality, a sampling of the “rerum naturae” subject to becoming. This concept takes on even more significance since sound, as a physical phenomenon, has the characteristic of lasting over time. Each conceivable form of sampling hence constitutes a window for listening, an interval from T-0 to T-1 capturing a segment of existence. Everything that happens before or after the observed event, or what exists outside the time segment under observation, simply does not exist. Engaging in a reduction of the world does not mean creating something out of nothing, but rather contributing to modifying reality by capturing one of the possible „presents“ extrapolated from the weft of time, a tangible actuality – which we experience – observed here on a macroscopic level. In this sense, every form of capture and rendition is not only subjective and arbitrary but also entirely indeterminate, based on the contingency of events. The possible sound portraits of a place appear infinite, like a game of mirrors: among the many “Venices” choosing to focus on one cannot claim any adherence to reality. The only possible key remains the artistic-creative approach, an unquestionable criterion for observation, knowledge, and reworking of one’s direct experience of the world.




1. Route A
2. Route B
3. Lopa (i)
4. Lopa (ii)
5. Lopa (iii)


05 Tracks (41′55″)



It reads online: „lopa“ is a type of lagoon bottom consisting of mud with peat, formed where a salt marsh dies. People sink into it up to their knees. Completed in 2022, Lopa is an album based on field recordings made over winter 2021 along the edges of Venice historic center and within its lagoon. Following up the album “Teredo navalis”, released by Gruenrekorder in 2020, Coniglio continues the exploration of his native territory. Using a similar compositional approach, field recordings alternate and layer to form fluid narrative structures where sound manipulation, including filtering and granulation, discreetly introduces elements of electroacoustic music. The scenario presented by Lopa is that of a desolate town, where human presence is almost absent. In fact, recordings were made overnight following the precise plan of the author. The sound of water lapping against the “fondamenta” takes the center stage, among creaking mooring ropes and the perpetual rumble of motorized boats. Only the final section, entrusted to the wild ducks quacking, seems to glimpse a possible escape. However, it barely provides solace, because Lopa is the portrait of a city resting on a bed of mud, on the verge of being swallowed.



Composed, mixed and mastered in Venice in 2022
Recorded at 24/48 kHz
Photo by courtesy of Eleonora Ponzio
This is a soundscape work
Please note that we have intentionally decided not to print this album
Thanks to everybody at Gruenrekorder, Simon Whetham and to Nicola Di Croce for their support


Soundscape Series by Gruenrekorder
Germany / 2023 / GrDl 217 / LC 09488



Gruenrekorder (Lopa | Enrico Coniglio) featured on Bandcamp Daily
The Best Field Recordings on Bandcamp: November 2023





Elena Ferrarese | IL GAZZETTINO di Venezia
Nell’ultimo album „Lopa“ i ritratti sonori lagunari firmati da Enrico Coniglio


Enrico Coniglio torna a musicare i ritratti sonori di Venezia. Dopo „Teredo navalis“, pubblicato da Gruenrekorder nel 2020, il compositore continua l’esplorazione del suo territorio natale con l’album „Lopa“, sviluppato questa volta, per scelta, solo in digitale.
Fonico ambientale e artista del suono, membro dell’Archivio Italiano Paesaggi Sonori, Coniglio (Venezia, 1975) incentra da moltissimi anni la sua ricerca nell’indagare la perdita di identità dei luoghi e l’incertezza sull’evoluzione del territorio, con particolare riferimento al contesto della laguna veneta. La sua musica, presentata da etichette come Crónica elettronica, Gruen Rekorder, taalem, Fear Drop, Glacial Movements e molte altre, attinge da una vasta gamma di influenze stilistiche, combinando elementi di musica classica, moderna, ambient, elettroacustica e registrazioni sul campo. Completato nel 2022, „Lopa“ è un album basato sulle registrazioni effettuate durante l’inverno 2021 lungo le banchine della zona marittima di Venezia, in prossimità del quartiere di Santa Marta, dell’isola del Tronchetto e di altre piccole isole della laguna.


„Lopa“ è una parola usata per descrivere un tipo di fondo lagunare costituito da fango con torba, formato dove muore una palude salata, dove la gente vi sprofonda fino alle ginocchia. Lo scenario offerto da questa ricerca, infatti, è il ritratto di una città adagiata su un letto di fango, sul punto di essere inghiottita, dove la presenza umana è quasi assente. Le registrazioni sono state effettuate durante la notte, seguendo il preciso piano dell’autore. Il rumore dell’acqua che lambisce le fondamenta è protagonista, tra lo scricchiolio delle cime d’ormeggio e il rombo perpetuo delle barche a motore. Solo il tratto finale, affidato allo starnazzare delle anatre selvatiche, sembra intravedere una possibile via di fuga.


Tra le motivazioni alla base di questo lavoro, spiega il compositore, c’è la necessità di esplorare la moltitudine di narrazioni di Venezia. Spesso contemplo il mio approccio alla pratica della registrazione sul campo, dove non si può essere guidati esclusivamente dalla curiosità o dallo stupore. I possibili ritratti sonori di un luogo, essendo coltu in determinate situazioni e momenti, appaiono infiniti, come un gioco di specchi tra le tante „Venezie“ che si sceglie di concentrarsi una non può vantare alcuna aderenza alla realtà. L’unica chiave possibile resta l’approccio artistico-creativo, criterio indiscutibile di osservazione, conoscenza e rielaborazione della propria esperienza diretta del mondo.


Guillermo Escudero | Loop
Enrico Coniglio (Venice, 1975) is an Italian sound recordist, sound artist and composer, who is interested in the aesthetics of landscape. He has a degree in Urban Planning and his sound exploration aims to investigate the loss of identity of places and the uncertainty about the evolution of the territory, especially about the Venetian lagoon.
His discography of around 40 albums is released on labels such as Crónica, Gruenrekorder, Psychonavigation Records, Touch, among others. His live performances have taken place at the most important festivals in Europe, and alongside Leandro Pisano, he runs the Galaverna digital label since 2012.
The title of the album “Lopa” refers to a kind of lagoon bottom made up of mud and where herbaceous plants that grow in the water die.
This album is based on field recordings made during the winter of 2021, in the evening, around the historic center of Venice and within its lagoon. This is a time of pandemic in which Coniglio explores a different Venice, almost without tourists and in which a new approach to sound is appreciated; its nature, existence, and reality. As Coniglio says, “’voice of the environment‘ to highlight the distinctive sound of the location, now deeply affected by over tourism, which has profoundly changed the city’s soundmark.”
This new sound magnitude opens a new listening act, where prejudices about what we can find in a beautiful and submerged city like Venice are removed, and find instead an unexpected silence, a new way of interpreting what we hear and perceive from what we see, smell and touch in the environment.
In this field work, Coniglio used hydrophones, contact microphones and electromagnetic sensors, among other devices.
This album contains six tracks that are deployed in the drone and electroacoustic subgenres. “Route A,” which opens the album, unfurls a drone that has several layers: the sound of water flowing, the swaying of its waves and how they hit objects, as well as an atmospheric whoosh. “Route B” apparently is a recording inside the water, where some sounds are imperceptible, like an amorphous human voice and then – already on the surface – drops of water from some closed places are heard, generating a kind of random percussion, and then comes torrents of water and a noise that seems to be an engine. “Lopa (i)” produces oscillating sounds, some of them distant, others heard up close. In “Lopa (ii)”, among the ambient sounds, there is a subtle melodic line that timidly appears, while in “Lopa (iii)” which closes the album, you can hear ducks splashing in the water, perhaps happy to return to their natural habitat, a situation that is interrupted by the passing of a vaporetto (or similar). Enrico Coniglio opens the question of how we are listening to the environment, which is undoubtedly mediated by the prejudices we have about it and worse still, the destruction that human beings are doing to their natural environment. “Lopa”, it seems, breaks with those paradigms of listening.


Rigobert Dittmann | Bad Alchemy Magazin (122)
Der Venezianer ENRICO CONIGLIO fährt mit Lopa (Gruen 217, digital) erneut in die Lagu­nen seiner Heimatstadt – wie schon mit „Teredo Navalis“ (BA 106). Um einzutauchen in die dortige Klangwelt, wie er sie an Winterabenden, wenn der touristiche und überhaupt menschliche Lärmpegel endlich abgeschwollen ist, einfangen konnte. Der Lockdown 2020 schuf sogar die unverhoffte Situation, dass in Venedig etwas von Mark Fishers Eeriness zu spüren war. Wobei mit dem Dämpfen der urbanen Low-Fidelity die Präsenz anderer Sounds wie unters Vergrößerungsglas gerät. Wenn auch immer nur als pars pro toto. Vorbei an den dennoch dröhnenden Docks der Marittima, am Stadtviertel Santa Marta, der Tronchetto-Insel als Lärmkulissen, die sich abklären für das Rauschen von Wind und Was­ser, dessen zeitvergessenes Glucksen und Lappen, das flüsternde Rascheln des Schilfs, knarrenden Draht. Was ist das für ein surreales Unken? Gefolgt von hohlem Tropfen, Lauten von Vögeln und Insekten, eingebettet in sanftes Wellen und Pulsen, übertönt von rauschendem und bootsmotorischem Dröhnen. Denn Coniglio scheint lieber Elektroniker zu sein und Boot zu fahren, statt Kitschpostkarten zu malen. Das letzte Wort haben dennoch Seevögel unter sich, wobei wieder ein Motorboot kreuzt. [BA 122 rbd]


Enrico Coniglio – Interview @ LOOP – Music, Culture & Technology
Lopa | Enrico Coniglio