The third sound from the Florentine mini-series comes from inside the Baptistery of St. John, in the famous Piazza del Duomo. My first recording inside this fascinating octagonal building was a pretty generic ‘I’m-inside-a-church’ field recording, all reverb, echo and reverential footsteps. But my later attempt came when I noticed that near the entrance, all of this was mixed in with the high-pitched beeping of the entry gate as people came in with their barcoded tickets – a fascinating blend of sounds, and also a blend of technology and the ancient and spiritual. It also gave me the idea for the remixed version, which was achieved purely by repeatedly EQing the sound until there was basically nothing but top end left – the final version sounds like something that belongs more in nature, a field recording of crickets or some other insect in the great outdoors.
Incidentally, if you’re ever in Florence and are seduced by the Duomo alone, don’t pass up the opportunity to call into the baptistery. It’s beautiful.