Tuesday, 5 June 2012


These past days were sound days. They were marked by sounds i heard more than other days and other sounds. The origin of those sounds were two: earthquakes and the celebrations of the 2012 family day.
In the past two week northern Italy was struck by several earthquakes and where they hit several people died, a lot of buildings came down or got damaged. I live about 150 km from that area and we didn't suffer any damage so you may say i have no right to whine about it, but this is how i have experienced it. I felt only three of those quakes: one in the night and two during the day. What hit me most in both the day quakes was the rumble, a somewhat far thunder sound, i heard less than second before the quakes. The thing that disturbed me was that i was unable to pick up the direction the sound came from so i was even a little weirded out for the real thing.
Nowadays i find myself wondering  about every little vibration and sound: was it a quake ?  How people can live like that ? How a society could survive (or even start) in very seismic places (i'm mostly thinking about Japan and California).

The Family Fay sounds surely were less scary. Some 300.000 people on June 2 (a Saturday) and some 1.000.000 on June 3 (a Sunday) gathered less than 5 km from my home for the 2012 family day. The two bright spot of it were some kind of "question time" with Benedict XVI about family issues Saturday evening and Mass celebrated by the Pope himself on Sunday.
While i didn't went there i still heard many garbled sounds coming from that direction, especially when there was music or singing going on. That was what i was curious about: would the voices of one million people going to be audible from were i live ? But the event was surrounded by many more and different sounds:
  • the machinery of road workers in the previous couple weeks renovating the roads that were going to be used (and seen) the most;
  • the garbage trucks wandering the roads in the middle of the night before Saturday (they are usually around in the early morning);
  • the road cleaning trucks that a few minutes after the garbage ones started doing multiple rounds;
  • not really a sounds but still an auditory experience, the silence on both days, but more so on Sunday, when cars weren't allowed in a huge area, even wider than the usual green/ecological Sundays;
  • drums, many drums of different kinds, to entertain people not going to the family day event but under siege by it. The municipality planned a mobile drum show that went around the city all Sunday afternoon;
  • songs, in several languages when people leaving the event passed near my home;

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