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Lockdown dawn chorus in the city of Florence

During lockdown, we’ve all been noticing the sounds of nature that little bit more – and even in the centre of our cities, we can hear more (and different) birdsong that we could before the coronavirus pandemic. This recording is one case in point from the centre of Florence, Italy, as described by local resident Valerio Orlandini in April 2020:

“Italy has been one of the first areas outside China to have been struck by the Covid-19 pandemic, and the whole country is on lockdown since March 8th, and a clear end has yet to be seen.

“The daily habits have drastically changed and now this fatiguing routine is almost felt as a new normality, even if it is not normal and it is our duty to think to the lost freedom as something precious that has to be regained in its entirety as soon as things turn for the better.

“The recording was taken in the early morning in an area of Florence at the borders of the historical city centre, where there is usually a certain car traffic and lots of people are around.”

Jase Warner was inspired by the original field recording to compose this reimagined piece, which he described to us as follows:

“‘Dawn chorus in Florence’ is a composition that uses elements of a field recording by Valerio Orlandini. The recording was taken at dawn in Florence near the borders of the historical city centre during the lockdown, where, in Valerio’s words, “traffic and lots of people” would normally be the dominant soundscape.

“After listening to Valerio’s recording, I wanted to play guitar to accompany and complement the birdsong, but do so in an informal and almost improvised manner.

“I started work on the composition by creating a beat, using snippets of the field recording and then recorded the guitar part, followed by piano.

“Finally I layered various sections of the field recording throughout the composition using effects to create several brief sonic moments.”