If on a winter's night in Venice...

Jan 01, 04:58 PM

Venice Santa Lucia station on New Year's Eve reimagined by Cities and Memory.

In this piece, the clouds of arpeggiated synth notes represent the busy travellers coming in and out of the station, while the steadier bass pulses represent the surety and predictability of a rail timetable and the practical reliability of the trains taking people home.

The scene in the station on a foggy, freezing New Year's Even put us in mind of the opening of Calvino's novel If On A Winter's Night A Traveler, so we included a (disembodied) voice reading aloud from the book to bring these worlds together.

The text is as follows: 

The novel begins in a railway station, a locomotive huffs, steam from a piston covers the opening of the chapter, a cloud of smoke hides part of the first paragraph. In the odor of the station there is a passing whiff of station café odor. There is someone looking through the befogged class, he opens the glass door of the bar, everything is misty, inside, too, as if seen by nearsighted eyes, or eyes irritated by coal dust. The pages of the book are clouded like the windows of an old train, the cloud of smoke rests on the sentences. It is a rainy evening; the man enters the bar; he unbuttons his damp overcoat; a cloud of steam enfolds him; a whistle dies away along tracks that are glistening with rain, as far as the eye can see.