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



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