La Cosa Preziosa (Susanna Caprara) is a soundscape artist originally from Basilicata, south of Italy and based in Dublin, Ireland. Her work focuses on soundscape composition for performances, radio broadcasts and gallery installations, as well as the experimental exploration of the short-form.
Her soundscape creations, based on her own original field recordings, take the presence of a location or a real-life event as a departure point to then unfold and explore the hidden layers within in a sensitive and organic process, guided by deep listening.
Projects include the dance score for Invisible Histories (Limerick City Gallery of Art), Onironautica, commissioned by RTÉ Lyric FM for Art's Birthday and finalist of the EBU Ars Acustica Prix Palma Award 2017, Numphé, an original soundscape commissioned by Penn State University (USA) as a response to a Lucien Clergue photograph and presented in the exhibition Landscape/ Soundscape, as well as co-curating Mean Time, a large-scale live performance inspired by the women of 1916, staged in Richmond Barracks and broadcast live on RTÉ Lyric FM (IMRO Radio Award and New York Radio Festivals Award nominated).
Educational outreach and teaching work include guest lecturing for Trinity College Dublin's Music Composition Centre and workshops for the LUAN Gallery Athlone, Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, developing Soundscape Yoga for HearSay International Audio Festival and more.
Awards include the 'Europe: A Sound Panorama' juried prize (Goethe Institut Belgrade, Deutschland Radio Kultur, ZKM Institut for Music and Acoustics Karlsruhe, Radio Belgrad, European Broadcasting Union Ars Acoustica Group), Arts Council Ireland Travel & Traning Award for Music (2018), Dublin City Council Artist's Bursary Award (2012) and Project Awards (2016) and 'Migrant Artists on Ireland' and 'New Voices of Ireland' bursaries (Centre For Creative Practices, 2013 and 2015).
Born and raised in the South of Italy, I have been living in Ireland for over 15 years. In my work I draw from the rich cultural heritage of both countries, as well as from my own experience inhabiting the liminal spaces between them.
"My sound art work is currently focused on (but not limited to) the creation of short form and miniature audio pieces that experiment with the concept of narrative and storytelling. All soundscapes are composed exclusively out of my own field recorded material.
Coming to sound art from a background in Modern Literature, I find sound a particularly attractive match for short form fiction (be it abstract or scripted). Its close ties to the written short-story form constantly fascinate me: a shared economy of form, effectiveness and ability to capture the epiphany in the moment. In the words of American short story writer Raymond Carver, ‘the slit through which everything becomes illuminated’.
With the space it affords the imagination, I am also drawn to the potential of sound as a medium for the speculative and the surreal.
The soundscapes I create can be considered fragments of impressionistic realities, sometimes playful streams of consciousness punctuated by sonic incursions and intrusions. Technically I am drawn to abstraction, fragmentation and montage, always allowing plenty of inferential space for the listener.
I propose brief sonic journeys and explorations of the trivial and the fantastic, through glimpses and revelations: familiar ambiences taking on new meanings as they are tilted at surprising angles."