Fernando Cestari

Procession

Procession, 2009

This sound was recorded during a London bus journey from work to home in 2009. The noise of so many languages spoken at the same time inside the bus created an atmosphere that took me away from the city to a kind of impossibly foreign place where I had no chance of understanding what those conversations were about. The cold, dark night and the condensation of the windows conspired to hide the outside world, immersing me further in just my thoughts and the musical sounds of cosmopolitan language.  Eventually I started to recognize some words and some of the languages seemed more familiar, but hardly heard any English apart of a couple of words mixed with the unfamiliar sounds.

I was eventually reminded of my location by the automatic announcement, made in English, of opening and closing doors.  Only these brought me momentarily back to my homeward journey.

That sound reminded of my childhood experiences of religious street processions where the agglomeration of people trying to say prayer at the same time but louder than others, as if they would be heard by God first, mixed with the occasional parallel conversation of those pretending to be part of the community by walking along – plus the ordinary noise of the city traffic. A strange symphony of that ritual was recorded in my mind.
The sound has been edited to include a variety of prayers with the sounds of the bus journey in order to emulate the religious aspect of that earlier experience of ritual.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.