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Andrea Belfi

Dubbing & Doubling

February 27, 2012
LP, Digital, Streaming

Skateboarding has its own rituals, movements and sounds, and aggregates people in groups. It has gods and icons. It is like a sort of pagan religion, with specific rules and behaviours. Skateboarding sound dynamics and rhythmic movements are continuously repeating themselves, like in a joyful ritual.

This edition from Berlin based composer Andrea Belfi taps into this culture and uncovers a totem-esque sonic envisioning of the skateboard as sound object. 

The installation digs into soul, sound and rhythm of skateboarding. It consists in two big loudspeakers, made out of a big wooden skateboard ramp cut in two pieces, and in a music composition diffused by those speakers. The composition turns around the concept of dubbing. Working with the same technique used for dubbing movies, Belfi replaced the original sound of a two minutes skateboarding video with drums and percussion sounds. Skateboard noises, like drones made by wheels on the street, grinds and scratches on handrails, slides on copings and street curbs, and so on, became sort of a score for a drums and percussion music piece.

From Andrea, 
“I’ve been translating the sound of video from the language of Skateboarding into the language of Music. Then I created a musical structure looping these two minutes of music, with which I composed an eleven minutes long piece. This track has a strong narrative character, it is Cinéma pour l’Oreille. It is a one long movement, composed by many skateboard tricks. The ramp had been turned into sort of a speaking totems. The sound story coming through them, talks about the soul of the sound of skateboarding. The ramp changes its meaning throught the action of cutting. The skateboarding sound changes its meaning throught the action of dubbing. This revealed the deep value of repetition within the ritual of skateboarding.”