“The people of Cremona are unusually sensitive to noise right now,” writes Max Paradiso in Thursday’s (1/17) New York Times. The Italian city “is getting behind an ambitious project to digitally record the sounds of the Stradivarius instruments for posterity, as well as others by Amati and Guarneri del Gesù…. Three sound engineers are producing the ‘Stradivarius Sound Bank’—a database storing all the possible tones that four instruments selected from the Museo del Violino’s collection can produce…. [Former deejay] Leonardo Tedeschi … came up with the idea for the project…. Luckily for the engineers, Cremona’s mayor [Gianluca Galimberti] is also the president of the Stradivarius Foundation…. He allowed the streets around the museum to be closed for five weeks…. On Jan. 7, the police cordoned off the streets…. Every light bulb in the concert hall was unscrewed to eliminate a faint buzzing sound…. Wim Janssen, a Dutch viola player … played a C-major scale as the recording team watched graphs on their screens responding to the crisp sound of the [1615] instrument. Mr. Tedeschi grinned…. Then it happened…. [Sound engineer Thomas] Koritke heard the problem, loud and clear: ‘Who dropped a glass on the floor?’ ”

Posted January 18, 2019