Hotels are strange “non-places” where “the individual feels himself to be a spectator without paying much attention to the spectacle” (Vesić and Pavlović 2021).
I recorded at the Slavija Hotel during the twilight hours in mid-spring. I started from the bottom of the staircase leading from the lobby and ascended to the top floor. There were some rooms under construction, and the workers were mostly done for the day while most of the guests had not yet returned. I was here for the first time a few months earlier to visit one of my friends – a student – who was living here while waiting for a dorm to open up. This appears to be a common situation in Slavija these days.
Repetition structures the sound image. In the sound image, clips repeat but at distances beyond the span of conscious attention – like distant echoes. It is a déjà vu or a déjà entendu. As you ascend, it becomes increasingly unclear whether you have been there before. The stairway is narrow, and the space seems to pile up here in intersecting volumes. It feels like something is always just about to burst onto the scene. When a door opens it sounds as if it is right next to you, but also on top of you and below you. It is immediate but ambiguous. It is low fidelity.