Covid Experience (binaural) by Ana Teodora Popa | SEMI SILENT

Covid Experience (binaural)

Surrender into the hands of others
Ana Teodora Popa
(6’16”, November 2020)

How does a severe case of Covid-19 really feel like?

A binaural creation depicting a first-person experience.
Trigger warning.
Surrender your last wish into the hands of others.


„Covid Experience” is part of the „Pan-Demon” interdisciplinary performative installation, National University of Arts George Enescu, Iaşi, Romania.


Photo: Ana Teodora Popa




Ana Teodora Popa (b.1988) is a sound engineer and composer from Iași, Romania. She studied at Ontario Institute of Audio Recording Technology and worked as a live sound engineer for the London City Music Theatre. In 2013, she started her dream job at the National Theatre in Iași, Romania, and later became the Sound and Video Department leader. To stay involved in more creative projects, in 2017 she become a freelancer. In 2018, she won third place in the Grand Prix Nova competition with a nonverbal binaural piece, created using only mono/stereo files and a unique editing method. She takes part in innovative and challenging independent projects, including theater plays, experimental performances, sound installations and films. She worked with Regenerator and Descentrat projects, and she participated to Sonic Future Residencies. She currently writes music and works on her own binaural audio research and technique. Her artistic goal is to reach the listeners at a level where they can relate and be moved by what is already inside them.


Artistic direction: Octavian Jighirgiu
Script: Ana Teodora Popa
Composition, binaural microphone development, recording, editing, and sound design: Ana Teodora Popa
Voices: Octavian Jighirgiu, Sebastian Bădărău, Andreea Darie, Cosmin Alupoaei, Smaranda Mihalache, Alin Voicu, Andrei Paraschiv, Andreea Nechita, Nicola Zaharia, Ioana Alberta Dima, Georgiana Hîrtopanu, Bianca Ciubotariu, Mariana Paladi, Alexandru Maxim, Vanessa Sarkadi, and Alexandra Antal.

Produced by the National University of Arts George Enescu, Iaşi, Romania





Police car outside: “Stay at home! Obey the military ordinance!”
TV: “Someone from District 2 requested the intervention of an emergency crew. So far we have 50 confirmed cases of Covid virus…”


A knock on the door


Ambulance nurse: Good evening.
Ambulance driver: Good evening, we called earlier…
Ambulance nurse: Ok, please lay down now, easy… We are here to help, no need to be scared, everything is alright.


Isolation pod zipper closes


Ambulance nurse: Feeling good? We are here with you at all times.
Ambulance driver: Let us pick it up. Easy, careful. I got it.
Ambulance nurse: We are moving, alright? We are outside.


Isolation pod enters the ambulance


Ambulance nurse: 10 22 5, we got the patient, and we are on our way to the hospital.


Ambulance sirens and labored breathing


Nurse 1: No, no! We are already at capacity! Go to the room at the end of the hall!
Ambulance nurse: What do we do? Grab this from the other side.
Nurse 1: We will admit him upstairs if needed.
Ambulance nurse: Move the stretcher a little.


Isolation pod zipper opens


Ambulance nurse: We are here, alright? Common, at three. One, two, three, go! Head down, please. Good, now there is going to be a nurse coming soon to admit you. Just hold on for now and wait, ok?
Nurse 2: Mariana! The Covid phone, do you have it?… The Covid phone!
Nurse 3: Give me your hand. Hold on. We have a patient with fever over here!
Nurse 2: Yeah, ok, ok!
Nurse 3: There will be a nurse coming soon to check your blood pressure, and after that, when the CT is available, there will be someone to take you, ok?
Nurse 4: How is it going, Mr. Paraschiv, are you feeling any better? Does the cough still keep you up at night? Is there someone else from your family who tested positive?
Nurse 2: Mariana! Come here. So, the patient here, is now off the oxygen. I took his mask off at 9:30 and…


Everything becomes unclear


Nurse 5: Good evening… Ok, we will go to the CT and check the lungs, and then…


Labored breathing, machine beeps


Nurse 3: We have got to intubate you; do you hear me? You will go under general anesthesia and then we will help you, breathe, alright?


Everything disappears.
Water lapping, heartbeat, machine beeps fade, then silence…


One healthy breath.


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