Audioscan Milano. Exploring Avant-Garde Sound Practices via Digital Humanities


  • Serena Ferrando Colby College
  • Giorgio Sancristoforo



Audioscan Milano explores the strategies and experiments in the field of sound and noise of Milan’s legendary Studio di Fonologia Musicale. A multimedia installation composed of hundreds of field recordings of the city of Milan, Audioscan Milano provides its audience with a multisensory experience of the urban soundscape and the opportunity to interact with it digitally. The manipulation of noise and its transformation into musical sound via sophisticated electronic equipment emulates the Studio’s audio techniques but also exposes the reasons behind its failure to attract a wider audience. Visitors to Audioscan Milano expect to hear urban noise rather than musical sounds and, despite some enthusiasm around being able to mix sound objects on the map and move them around the room, they fail to appreciate the technical subtleties of the procedures behind the music. Ultimately, Audioscan Milano constitutes an important link to Italy’s musical heritage of the 1950s and 1960s and can learn from its limitations, particularly when it comes to engaging the audience to play a more active role in the auditory experience of the city.

Author Biography

Serena Ferrando, Colby College

Serena Ferrando is Assistant Professor of Italian at Colby College. Her specialization is modern and contemporary Italian literature with an emphasis on environmental and digital humanities. Her book project is an ecocritical study of water in the urban environment of Milan and Milanese poetry. She has published on Alda Merini, Milan’s navigli, Milo De Angelis, and Dino Buzzati.