Every city has its own distinct sonic identity. Its sound environment is rich in facets that tell one about the historic, social, economic, ecologic and cultural structures. These sounds are part of everyday life and yet they too often go unnoticed. By using Sound Art, a project endorsed by the Valletta 2018 Foundation, Robert Stokowy wants to look at Valletta’s sonic environment and open up the perspective for visitors.

The project will be a series of site-specific sound interventions that completely derive from Valletta’s sonic environment. The series will lasts for 2-3 weeks. Every 2 days the artist will do a public sound intervention in different public places in Valletta.

For each place the artist will make a new sound composition that is site-specific to each individual place with 1 to 8 small loudspeakers. For his interventions the artist will use a small mobile setup, powered by batteries. The loudness of the interventions will be set according to the normal noise level of a place. This is done because the artist does not want to interfere with the natural sounds of the City, but rather play along with it. This way the City & the compositions become interacting & engaging instruments of the urban-public domain. Each piece will be about 10 – 50min long.

The performances will happen at different hours during the day (between 8am & 10pm). Prior to each public event the artist will conduct listening studies in all places at different times during day- & night-time. By doing so the evident & essential sonic identity of the city shall be investigated. The outcomes of these studies function as focal points for the creative process & the resulting compositions used for the public interventions. By recording, transforming & composing sounds (according to the research findings) the artist works from, through & with Valletta as the source of every aspect of the work.

In each place participants are invited to discuss, ask questions, share experiences & stories with the artist after the performance. This exchange is the crucial part of this project. Since all interventions take place in public, they are free & open to everyone. This project shall be directed at people who decide to come to a performance, as well as at people who encounter it accidentally. The project shall allow for a high quality artistic experience that combines natural & abstracted sounds of Valletta. It shall also cause the exchange of thoughts about how we perceive our environment by listening, based on the encounter of the performance.

By making individual compositions for several places at different daytimes, this series forms a complete artwork that illuminates Valletta’s rich sonic facets to the audience.

The project is very inclusive ranging from children above the age of six years, up to people in the age of 80 years. It aims at a curious audience that wants to explore identity by engaging with the sounds of their surroundings, art and culture in an experimental way.

This project is endorsed by the Valletta 2018 Foundation.