This recording was made in late March. I went alone to the Grand Hotel in Pristina after sunset but not too late (around 8 pm) and worked my way up floor by floor, taking the stairs as I found them, only taking the elevator to the discotheque, which was closed, and to descend to the ground floor. On 17 February 2008, an international news event staged Kosovo’s birth using the city of Pristina as a backdrop; crews had arrived and made plans during the week before. It was a pseudo-event (planned but unrehearsed), so all the shots and spin were prepared in advance for the various options for the actual news release (Paterson, Andresen and Hoxha 2012).
A few of the upper floors of the hotel were under construction during the time of recording. The rooms were gutted to the bare concrete, so on those floors I was able to leave the landing space and walk to the windows with the view of the city outside. The sonic space was very dim overall. Silence is the baseline in this recording, an unsettling underlying drone of silence. Other sounds burst into the space, as punctuations. It emerges as a labyrinthine sonic space, whose visual counterpart can also be found in the layout of the hotel. It centers around a central seating area and elevator lobby that all doors open onto. In the recording, the listener wanders back and forth, bouncing aimlessly within the box of a sonic image.
The lowest levels, including a meeting room with a projection booth, reveal a shift in the soundscape. A sound from this projection booth keeps coming back, echoing again and again almost as if there is a glitch in the changing of the film reels. We might regard the whole sound world as a projection – perhaps like Plato’s cave. The listener is compelled to ask: what is going on in the world outside?