Sant’Efisio – sound installation

Idea project from Enrico Garau

Artistic supervision Lucio Garau

Technical supervision Riccardo Sarti


The feast of Sant’Efisio is the most important religious procession in Sardinia. It takes place every year on 1 May, uninterruptedly since 1657. It is said that in 1656 the inhabitants of Cagliari prayed Sant’Efisio to defeat the terrible wave of plague, spread on the island since 1652. The municipal administration of Cagliari then made a vow to the saint: if he managed to defeat the plague, every year there would be a procession and celebrations in his honor, starting from the district of Stampace, until you get to Nora, where the saint had been martyred. In September of the same year, the heavy rains made the plague disappear, and from the following year until today, on 1 May, the vote made is respected. To take part in the parade, groups of people arrive in Cagliari, dressed in traditional clothes, coming from all over Sardinia. For a few hours the city center is filled with sounds, colors and musical traditions of the whole island.

The procession is open from the “traccas”, floats festively decorated with the products of the fields, the utensils of the house and the typical products of Sardinian gastronomy, pulled by oxen and with men, women and children on board, dressed in traditional clothes. Followed by folk groups in costumes, composed of thousands of devotees from all over Sardinia, who walk reciting the rosary or sing the prayers “goccius” of the religious tradition of the island. The procession continues with hundreds of “Campidano” and “militia” knights. The sound of the “launeddas”, typical instrument of the Sardinian tradition, precedes the arrival of the chariot with the simulacrum of Sant’Efisio. Arrived in front of the City Hall, the saint is greeted by the sirens of ships docked in the port of Cagliari.

The association Amici della Musica in Cagliari, with the project Tradition and Modernity, has been proposing for some years, within its own classical music seasons, the presentation of the most important musical traditions of Sardinia and has also started a contemporary reflection on some of these . Hence the idea under the Erasmus Plus project “The soundscape we live in” to propose the contemporary reinterpretation of some monuments of the identity heritage of Sardinia. Specifically, it was decided to promote registration of the sounds of Sant’Efisio festival, with a group of 9 people who have seen the procession from different locations. The sound materials thus obtained were made available to 5 composers to whom it was decided to commission 5 multi-channel electroacoustic compositions on the main themes of the feast. The 5 compositions are the basis for an installation that is proposed for the first time at the MEM Mediateca del Mediterraneo of Cagliari. The installation was hosted from 15 April to 15 May 2018 for the activities of promotion of the Sant’Efisio festival at the Ex I.S.O.L.A space in Cagliari during the event Monumenti aperti.
One of the purposes of the installation is to make us reflect on the importance of the sound aspect of the procession and how many things we do not listen because we are usually heavily concentrated on the fascinating visual experience.
The installation uses a high quality multi-channel acousmatic system



Marco Dibeltulu, Microclimate III (3’16”)

Sounds are recorded by Lucio Garau e Gilles Malatray

Bernard Fort, Fragments of procession (3’19”)

Sounds are recorded by Marianna Murgia

Lucio Garau, Horses 2017 (3’16”)

Sounds are recorded by Manfredi Clemente; Antony Clerc; Lucio Garau; Gilles Malatray; Mariana Viera

Theodoros Lotis, Cagliari more (3’40”)

Sounds are recorded by Manfredi Clemente, Lucio Garau e Gilles Malatray

Francesco Giomi, Untitled (2’32″)

Sounds are recorded by Manfredi Clemente, Lucio Garau e Gilles Malatray