Soundtrack for the exhibition “inVisibles”

On July the 30th 2021, the Ripoll Ethnographic Museum (Girona, Spain) opened the exhibition “inVisibles”, about women in the local society at the turn of the 19h and 20th centuries. Mainly through pictures from the period, the intention was to show and vindicate the critical participation of women, true pillars of the familiar and social structures: a role that was silenced and not always recognised.

My contribution was writing a soundtrack some 15 minutes long, a succession of music scenes which depict different moments of the everyday life of women in Ripoll 150 years ago: the change from rural to industrial society, a day in the factory, the moments of party and celebration, etc. At the time of conceiving this music I chose a palette of simple sounds and instruments which evoked traditional life in a village like Ripoll: guitar, violin, accordion, wood elements (percussions, double bass) and so on. As for the composition my intention was to transmit that, even having a relatively happy existence, women never got to be socially outstanding; therefore the music contains a latent melancholy all the way through, thus symbolizing a permanent return to a reality that relegated women to a secondary role. In short, the music tries to summon the exhibition main message by encapsulating the greatness of those women in small sounds, always far away from the epic they deserved.

Music is complemented with sound effects that evoke the everyday life of those times: looms, carriages pulled by horses, flocks of sheeps, mountain atmospheres, percussion sequences made with sounds of dishes, brooms, looms themselves, etc. On the other hand, every now and then fragments of a conversation involving a group of Ripoll women can be heard; it was recorded specially for this project and sounds with reverb to express their invisibility. This collection of everyday sounds is directly connected with the very essence of the museum itself: an institution triggered by the people of Ripoll themselves which explains their life and keeps their collective memory through an immense and wonderful permanent collection of everyday objects.

This soundtrack loops through the exhibition hall speakers and constantly accompanies the visitor along the way; thus, it provides with an emotional bond with the contents quite similar to the music of a film. In this video you can catch this effect while you take a quick virtual walk along the exhibition. In the player below you can listen to the whole music sequence.