Sound in Stone: Field Research – Murgia, Italy

As winter waned in 2023 we embarked on a journey back to the Murgia region eager to deepen our exploration of stone as a conduit for sound and aliveness. This place is special to us, not only because of its arid hills and valleys, lined with tall and rattly Ferula Ferita shrubs, but also for the warm and enigmatic people who call it home.

One person in particular draws us back time and time again: Donato Laborante. A curator, poet, actor, performer, and storyteller, Donato invigorates the artistic community, inspiring them to create events and engage in political action through everyday gestures. Our fascination with the theme of extraction began on an excursion to a marble quarry in the town of Apricena on Christmas Day in 2016, where a group of artists, locals and children joined us to craft a spontaneous musical performance striking stones and other detritus against the quarry wall.

Our work in the region felt incomplete; the surface barely scratched. What follows are daily notes and reflections from our journey.

This work is possible thanks to support from Musikfonds STIP-III programming, giving us the gift of time to research, revisit, compile, and compose audio visual works from field recordings and videos we have made over years of slow-movement journeys across Europe, to understand that fundamental human impulse: to move.