Sonus Horti

Three interactive sound sculptures, inaugurated on 22nd April (Earth Day)

Sonus Horti (The Sound of the Garden) is an artistic project conceived by Rocco Papia and realised with Nikki Rifiutile within the International Sound Reuse ArtWorkshop collective.

The project stems from an artistic research on the physical, historical and philosophical place of the Padua Botanical Garden: the tools and materials used by those who take care of the 16th-century garden on a daily basis and its peculiar architecture - a square inscribed in a circle that recalls the ideal of the Hortus Conclusus, a paradisiacal place in which to seek harmony between human beings and the universe - are the suggestions that the artists have given back in three large interactive sound sculptures.

The works are complex aerophones that use water to move air, thus linking organically to the fundamental elements of the Botanical Garden's ecosystem. They are designed to be played by several people at the same time, inviting users to share the sound experience and search for collective harmony.

In the work Cunabula Sonorum two rotating circles inscribed in a cubic structure are made to oscillate, like a cradle, producing a melody of question and answer, in a sort of melodic breathing. In Nymphaeae Sonorae a square of swings for nymphs swings by immersing plastic water lilies whose flowers/flutes emit harmonic chords, while in Sonus Temporum one can enter a structure formed by two squares inscribed in two overlapping horizontal circles, four strange flowers are suspended over as many small pools of water: one for each melodic season.

The methodology used is that of creative reuse of everyday and discarded objects, as already done with the Corallo Sonoro, an interactive sound sculpture dedicated to listening to the marine acoustic ecosystem presented at the Risvegli 2022 festival, and with the diffuse installation Il Giardino dei Suoni presented at Boom Cantiere Creativo 2022 in Calderara di Reno (BO).

The sound sculptures are hosted in front of the greenhouses of the Biodiversity Garden and at the fountain of the Four Seasons (East Gate) from 22nd April to 1st May.

Rocco Papia is a multifaceted artist living in Barcelona: in addition to being a composer and a musician who has collaborated with international artists, he is a designer of educational workshops and a creator of innovative paths in art, music, culture and ecological dissemination.

Nikki Rifiutile (aka Nikki Rodgerson), co-founder of ISRAW, is a Scottish artist and member of Mutoid Waste Company. Sculptor, performer and set designer, she leads workshops on the creative reuse of waste.

ISRAW-International Sound Reuse ArtWorkShop is an international artistic collective, formed in 2020 under the direction of Rocco Papia for the research and evolution of Sound Reuse Artworks, which incorporate a vision of ecological and sustainable development implemented through the creative reuse of everyday waste materials.