Music And Space |Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer


The sweetest Italian Baroque music ever made filled Le Petit Trianon Theatre of San Jose last Sunday evening. Interpreti Veneziani, a group of musician from Italy, played the best of Venetian treasures from the classical music composed by Vivaldi, Scarlatti, Boccherini, and Cimarosa. What a performance it was!

The dialogue after the performance between the audience and the artists revealed the artists’ personalities. They are very enjoyable, witty and funny musicians. Interpreti Veneziani made their début in 1987, immediately gaining reputation for the “youthful exuberance and all-Italian brio characterizing their performance”, becoming an attraction for the local Venetians and the tourists visiting the city.

When someone in the audience asked them how it feels to play in San Vidal Church in Venice, where Vivaldi played, one of the musicians responded that it feels like playing in a giant bathroom. San Vidal Church has huge spaces, large naves and aisles where people can hear the reverberation of any sound in an echo effect. Just this answer alone inspired me to write this article on noise pollution.

Noise pollution is an ensemble of noises coming from outside into our living spaces that causes disturbance to our sleep and human activities. People exposed to noise pollution could be affected with psychological problems, stress and high blood pressure.

To eradicate noise pollution coming into our homes from outside, or to muffle the sound of the musician playing in your home (lucky if you have one) it is simple enough to know that a few solutions, such as cork floor, fabrics, wood and acoustic walls can aid in keeping all noises out. Knowing the distinction between noise and sound will also help making a choice of material to use to either balance sound or block noise.

Sound is measurable information, which travels on a wave. The perception of a sound is very personal based on the emotional state of a person. Interpreti Veneziani’s music, last Sunday, emitted a pleasant dreamy sound, but my neighbors who plays marching band music at least once a week on a loud-speaker is noise to me. A sound becomes noise when we are driving and hear something wrong with the car, a malfunctioning machine, a loud T.V., appliances in motion, noisy air conditioning or weed whacker. These examples and many more are sounds of a negative perception, therefore we define them as noises.

Noises can cause anxiety and nightmare, difficulty in falling asleep, frequent waking up while sleeping, changing in sleeping patterns from deep sleep to light sleep, just to name a few side effects. To assure a good quality sleep, the noise level in the bedroom should be between 35 and 45 dB (decibel) and no higher.

Noises travel through the floor and bounce from the walls. Isolating the floor is the first thing to do to sound proof an interior space from noises. Noise travel 12-15 higher through stone floors and cement than in the air.
Acoustic walls can be constructed of styrofoam, polyester or polyurethane, even egg cartons are excellent material for sound barrier. Acoustic walls and ceilings must be flexible and not attached fixed to the primary walls. This way the sound will travel through the secondary walls and not on the primary walls and will be better dissipated.
Window treatments, bookcases, rugs, pictures without the glass, upholstered furniture, hardwood or cork floor are all the other elements that absorb well all the noises around us.

The historic Le Petit Trianon Theatre in San Jose, California, built-in 1923 is an adaptation of Petit Trianon in Versailles built by Madame Pompadour in 1761. It is a dainty, small theatre seating 350 people with an unsurpassed acoustics.
“It is an artful expression of sublime simplicity, pleasant surrounding of beauty and balance” (…) says the home page website of the Theatre. Interpreti Veneziani felt they were playing in a cozy environment and not “playing in a giant bathroom”. Their live performance sounded so great and intimate as if it was made just for us, the audience.

I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to enjoy their beautiful music and seeing them so closely. I saw their performance twice in San Vitale Church in Venice, but nobody gets closer to the artists there. Talking and get to know them one by one even during the reception was as if I had reacquainted with old friends, but they took back a piece of my Italy with them. What a beautiful night it was!

You too can experience great sounds in your home. We can have fun together designing your acoustical walls for the entertainment room, home movie theatre, basements or anything else that strikes your fancy. Leave your name in the box below and let me know in which are you need my help. Ciao,

Copyright © 2011 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved


Valentina Cirasola is a trained Italian Interior Designer in business since 1990. Being Italian born and raised, Valentina’s design work has been influenced by Classicism and stylish, timeless designs. She is a designer well-known to bring originality to people’s homes.
As an Italian designer and true to her origins, she provides only the best workmanship and design solutions. She is the author of two Italian regional cuisine books and the author of the forthcoming book on the subject of Colors, due to be released in the Spring 2012. Find her books on



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