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An improvised water taxi in Murano, Italy

IMGP1485The vaporetto (water taxi) is one of the most recognisable sounds in Venice – the thrum of its engines and the chatter of passengers is the lovely equivalent of the constant drone of traffic noise in so many other cities around the world. A recording aboard a vaporetto not only places you instantly in the watery environs of Venice, but also contains a sense of transport and community. This particular recording is of a vaporetto on its way to the island of Burano making a stop-off at Murano to pick up and drop off passengers: the slowing of engines, sounds of tying a boat onto the dock and opening the passenger doors are Venice’s answer to a bus stop.

For the remix, I once again challenged the musicians at Oxford Improvisers to respond to the recording live and improvise their response to it, having never heard the recording before they started playing along to it. Here are two different interpretations by two different sets of musicians, taking in electric violin, saxophone and various woodwind instruments.

City version:


Memory version one:


Memory version two: