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A Work Born of Noise

Since last January, 13 artists in Rome, Milan and Naples, have been working with students in 12 schools to develop digital art projects for the BNL Media Art Festival, which will be held in Rome on April 13-17. The works will be exhibited at the Rome MAXXI and the best will be recognized together with the winning artist of the international call that attracted nearly 1000 participants from around the world.


The winning work in the school category is Murmur L.C. Librans developed by Simone Pappalardo with the Liceo Tullio Levi Civita.


The award, provided by BNL Group BNP Paribas, the event co-producer goes to the artist and the work created with a school. Moreover, the work will become part of the BNL artistic heritage that currently counts ca. 5000 works.




The Work: Murmur L.C. Librans

by Simone Pappalardo


Murmur (from the Latin murmur, murmuris: whisper, murmur, noise) is a musical demon that guides 30 legions of other demons that announce their arrival resounding trumpets.

The term “murmur” refers to the incomprehensible, yet deeply significant noise produced by the sound organs of beings that are understood only through their social collocation that transforms these sounds into a comprehensible language. The installation produces artificial sound apparatuses that simulate the physiological functions of natural vocal organs and produce an abstract artificial language.

Thus, just as the interaction and modulation of all natural sound organs give rise to a vast array of linguistic sounds and phono-acoustic events that we use to express ourselves, even Murmur uses various sculpted structures that participate in the final sound result. In fact, Murmur’s individual structures all have specific shapes, one of many possible natural phonetic apparatuses.


The “words” generated by Murmur in its abstract language are extrapolated from the graffiti on the walls of the Liceo Tullio Levi Civita in the Prenestino Neighbourhood of Rome. Photos of deteriorated objects and materials (finishings, chairs, etc.), also selected by the students, are interpreted and re-elaborated via an artificial intelligence system (Markov chains in feedback) as musical scores.

Waste material – boxes and padding – from the school bar are used as the resonant base for each sound sculpture.

Murmur gives life to a small automatic orchestra of speaking, animated objects that vibrate and resound thanks to a feedback system created by electromagnetic fields to recount the sound story of the school through an artificial language.

(Bartolo Scifo)


The installation was developed with Class 2C at the Liceo Tullio Levi Civita for the Fondazione Mondo Digitale’s Media Art Festival. Special thanks to composer Michele Mastracci for his artistic help and advice.


Maxxi spazio D
Maxxi spazio D

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