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Utopia B5: Sicily is Utopia

Utopia, map reference B5
Utopia, map reference B5

It’s our turn today! We picked out the grid reference B5 on the map, as a section with some ocean, some beach and part of a settlement, enabling us to tell the story of a traveller’s journey.

Sicily is Utopia –  Stuart Fowkes (Cities and Memory), Oxford, UK

“I wasn’t sure how my interpretation of Utopia would come into being – I’d studied the book many years ago so felt close to it from an academic point of view.

However, my interpretation was heavily affected by a recent trip to Sicily – not only was it a rich source of field recordings I was keen to make use of, but it also really seemed like a wonderful Utopia to me.

Incredible sights, a melting pot of influences, lively, hectic, friendly – and not to mention the small factors of weather and food.

Therefore my section of the map, starting in the sea to the south-west of the island, and working its way inland to a settlement which I imagined as a market town, tells itself through Sicilian sounds.

First, we experience a synth-laden thunderstorm from the island of Stromboli, before making our way onto the beach with some calm at last after being tossed around on the waves – we crunch up a stony beach, hearing church bells beckon us ashore as we move.

Reaching the settlement, we make our way down some steps into a bustling market (based on the fish market in Catania).

The market, being Utopian, is stocked with all the wonders of the seas, an energetic, exhilarating and unforgettable experience as markets go. So the market section ends in some euphoric layers of beats and synths to indicate that, after a difficult journey, we have at last arrived in our own part of Utopia.”