Chiara Luzzana: cities as musical instruments

“I travelled all around the world and in every place I’ve been I caught the spirit of the city through my ears, not my eyes”

“Cities to me are like immense musical instruments.” With this statement Chiara Luzzana summarises her poetical approach, her being an artist in permanent contact with the surrounding space and with the time she lives in.


Chiara is a composer, a sound designer and a sound artist. Over the last few years her job has brought her to work with big international companies and carry out projects that have also become protagonists of the last edition of the Venice Biennale of Art. Chiara talks about her method and inspirations exclusively for Fuorisalone Magazine, starting from the most personal and autobiographical aspects: “When my parents split up I was just over 5. I remember spending days in the silence of my childhood home, listening to my thoughts and trying to find a sound-hold not to die of sadness. So I started to make objects talk. Each of them represented a sound. Those sounds became the words that composed the language of my music.”


Her approach towards the world is that of continuous listening, a strong desire to understand reality: “I compose my creations with the things that surround me. I don’t look for sounds, but I allow them to find me. Listening, exploring, closing your eyes and letting sound sensitivity guide you. That deep, intimate sense that has now become secondary to sight.”


Travelling is something particularly close to her way of being and making art: “I travelled all around the world and in every place I’ve been I caught the spirit of the city through my ears, not my eyes. Using just the sight we lose our prenatal ability of spontaneous listening.”


"The Sound of City" is an ambitious project that Chiara has been developing for many years and that will be finally disclosed to the public: “I designed and created the world project "The Sound of City" to investigate the inner sounds of every “concrete jungle”. Every place has something to tell and a soul to show; I turn into music those sounds, those harmonious frequencies and noises that in our daily life go unnoticed. And this is how a traffic light becomes a synthesiser, a hooter, a saxophone; manholes like drum machines and bawling in string orchestras. In the silence of urban dawns, with microphone and headphones, I explore unknown places letting the sound “contradictions” that every “concrete jungle” offers caress my ears. And it’s like a solitary trip inside my own contradictions. By discovering and transforming the sounds of the cities I’ve got to know myself and I’ve learnt how to change the noise of my thoughts into harmony, finding a balance between strengths and weaknesses which have made me a better woman. Pure sounds create a soundtrack for each city. A mix between electronic music and soundscape.”

Photo © Andreas G. Waldschuetz


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The Sound of City

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