La Cosa Preziosa (Susanna Caprara) is an Italian sound artist based in Dublin, producing soundscapes for performance, radio, and installation. I can enthusiastically recommend her series ‘The Secret Soundscape Club’, miniature field-recording soundscapes sent by email, on the last day of each month.
Caprara has organized a five-day listening retreat, from
21-25 June 2019, in Basilicata in the south of Italy. The intention is to live slow and enjoy an immersive listening retreat in these extraordinary surroundings. The program also includes a full day visit to Matera, a European City of Culture for 2019. More information can be found here.
Rediscover the power of listening.
Reset and recharge by immersing yourself in the pristine soundscape of Italy’s largest national park: il Parco Nazionale del Pollino.
Through daily site-specific soundwalks, ear cleansing exercises, listening sessions and outdoor activities, we will reconnect with the power of listening in all its forms: as an opening to the natural soundscape, to each other, and to our own inner voice.
The Retreat: ‘Piano, piano’ is an Italian expression that translates in English as ‘take it slow’. It is one that my mother (wisely!) uses all the time and that, to me, perfectly captures the spirit of this retreat: to truly take the time to listen and live slow, in this unspoilt corner of southern Italy.
Inspired by Basilicata, the region that has been my ancestral home for generations and that continues to inspire my practice, I have carefully devised a series of site-specific daily activities for our time together. These will include soundwalks, ear cleansing exercises, guided sonic meditations, listening sessions as well as energy exercises in the woods, inspired by the Japanese concept of shinrin-yoku, or ‘forest bathing’. Keeping our use of technology to the bare minimum, we will be going back to our collective sound source with a sense of curiosity, lightness and ease.
To get a true sense of the sonic heritage of this region, we will also be doing some exploring. We will be learning about the local musical instruments and watch them being made, spend a full day in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Matera (European City of Culture 2019) and listen out for the local fauna in the company of an experienced Park Guide. We will even tune into the sounds of Italian cooking, as we will learn to prepare a traditional Basilicata dish the mindful, slow food way.
Each day will be unique, inspiring and enriching, providing a spiritual toolbox that, I hope, will serve you long after the retreat is over.
“It is my hope that this retreat will allow you to pause, tune in and take heart. After a few days immersed in this idyllic location, learning to appreciate silence and slowness in nurturing and supportive company, you will return with a renewed and optimistic view of the world and of your place in it.
Join me there,