Do you sometimes wonder what the city looks like in the middle of the night when no one’s around and all you hear is your voice echoing back after wandering about the cold desolated streets? Is it probably the only time when everything is silent.
When I encountered Carlos Zangheri’s photography project titled ‘Silent Noise’, I was captivated by the concept and the images. The title ‘Silent Noise’ are two words that are as paradoxical as the well-known sentence ‘More haste, less speed’ when no matter how contradictory it was, the title described his project perfectly. I even witnessed myself nodding to the title as if I was sitting on the bench in one of the photos, breathing in the chilly yet slightly humid air, embracing every moment that is only allowed at this time of the day.
The surprise didn’t stop there. He then recorded the sounds in all the places that appear in this project, from broad daylight to night scenes to compare the sounds, taking the beautiful series of photography to the next level.
The sentence, which described the project, was more appealing than any other sentences I’ve seen to describe one’s work. The ‘Silent Noise’ project about sound perception… I couldn’t help but wonder what were the motives and inspiration behind this interesting project, so I decided to contact the photographer behind this project and hear the stories from the artist himself.
Interview with Carlos Zangheri
Q. Please introduce yourself.
C: I am an Italian photographer and I recently moved to London for living and working. Although I worked several years in creative and advertising agencies as a designer, my passion and love for visual projects has brought me to specialize in becoming keen on photography and on high-end retouching and work. Currently, I am working as a freelance retoucher because it brings my skills and knowledge further, and I am able to keep it close to my photography works. Although I’m working mostly with fashion, I like to keep my personal project separated from this field. I am quite easygoing, but have lots of thoughts altogether. I think too much maybe! Hehehe! Many times my friends and especially my girlfriend, Sara, ask me if I am living in my parallel world in those moments. I just think that I often have my head in the clouds full of thoughts.
Q. Could you tell us about the story behind the ‘Silent Noise’ project and how you came up with the concept?
C.Z: Actually, this project was born from a very simple idea! I was called by a friend to join a collective exhibition involving different kind of artists. The common topic of the exhibitions was the perception of sound. Every artist had to interpret this concept in their own way. I decided that perception of sound could also be the perception of “non-sound”: silence. For this reason, I started to become attracted to all the places that are usually very noisy and thinking about the same places in a very desolated and solitude way, covered by the silence, or the “non-sound.” I started to capture shots of all the places during the night alone to really feel the solitude of the same place as best as I could by being comfortable with that and thinking that this would help me find what I was looking for. Geometry, empty spaces, slow movements, light and darkness and the night—these became my focus.
Q. What was your intention behind recording different sounds of places and providing it with pictures?
C.Z: The intention was to record all the sounds of the same places in the daylight because I wanted to give something more to the exhibition and to the audience. I thought that putting sounds in the room with my photos and filling the room with all the audio situations recorded during the day would have been nice in antithesis to the photographic concepts. And I was right…recording all of the sounds during the daylight was a surplus for the exhibition.
Q. Did you have any interesting episodes while executing this project? You also said that this series is not over and have more is yet to come. Could you give us a hint on what we can expect?
C.Z: Mostly, it was strange to walk around and drive alone in the night. Sometimes it was freezing outside, but I didn’t have too much time to deliver the project so I had to keep on going closer to my focus even if it was the 4 AM in the morning. I felt scared a few times especially when I was totally alone while others were looking at me weirdly, maybe thinking “what the heck is he doing?” Their concern perhaps came because they saw me fixing the tripod many times before finding a good angle and composition. Yes, I am pretty sick on geometry and symmetry.
I am certain that the project needs to move forward. In the meanwhile, I moved to London from my little city in Italy (Rimini), so I have been a bit messed up with continuous relocation, finding a new job and learning a new language, but now I am quite settled. I often run into places that remind me of the project and how to push it to the next level.
Q. Where do you find inspiration? Is there a photographer who inspires you?
C.Z: I think all of us have something inside ourselves, everyone’s different. Sometimes it is pretty clear while other times, it is very personal and hidden. It’s a sort of thing that is a part of you, everybody has its own, and when I work on my projects or shooting street photography, I always try to bring out this inner side of me and let that be a part of my pictures. There isn’t a photographer who inspires me, I cannot choose a specific one. In my opinion, there are a lot of really great and extraordinary photographers, even young ones who are already well-prepared technically and really creative who produces stunning project.
Q. What is your definition of a ‘great picture’ and do you have any advice for people who want to take good pictures?
C.Z: Whoaaa! Definition of great pictures?! It’s hard to say! There are a lot of good, nice, well done pictures, but THE “great pictures”… hum… I think it is something that leaves you speechless, something that catches your eyes, something you can look at it for hours and hours. On the other hand, the point of view of a photographer is different: it could be something you are looking for you entire life and when you find it, you can’t believe you actually found it. Having good technique and the knowledge of hardware is a good thing, but I think photography is something more instinctive and impulsive. A great picture for a photographer is probably the result of passion, constancy, research, failures, stubbornness, happiness, sadness, and luck. Actually, I think I am still quite far from capturing my “great picture.” It will come… One last tip is to be yourself, and shoot for yourself. Don’t care what people think. The pictures are yours and it should represent who you are.
You can check out more of Carlos’s work from his websites :
And see the ‘Silent Noise’ with sounds