My dream has always been to record the sound of silence, and in silence to find the breath of life. To record the feelings and the emotions of people, as nearly as I can. The problem is not how to capture the space or the depth or the source of the sound, all this of course is fine and provides emotions, but is not in itself moving. To portray the smell of the concert hall, or the concentration of both performers and listeners, that is what is moving. If we believe that recording means portraying truth by following objective, absolute criteria, then we have completely missed the point. When I record, I follow all my senses, which means not only what I hear, but more importantly the feelings that come into the soul and to the heart. For me, placing the microphones is something of a sacred ritual, almost a mystic art. I have to find, and I know that it exist and is waiting to be found, that pocket-handkerchief sized space of air where the whole atmosphere can be felt. I measure the dimension with eyes and ears, I evaluate the materials, and, as an instrument-maker would, I ‘tune’ some gigantic structure like a church, a theatre or a music salon. And if the public are present, so much the better! Like an extraordinary acoustic trap, the bodies and the faces of hundreds of people make the sound more linear. If I could, I would record the bodies! And after, two, three, four microphones higher, lower, to the right, no, to the left... each time the conditions change and everything has to be discovered again, even the “emotion centre”.
The microphones are eventually exactly there where they should be; I must be aware of everything, the beautiful women, the musicians, their state of mind, and remind myself of the flavour of the occasion... and then, draw everything together at that “centre”. Reality on its own does not exist, it only exists in our own feelings. In truth, I record my own feelings, fonè is my gift to music and to all music lovers.
giulio cesare ricci