Sounding the Spui


A large-scale sound installation in public space created by students of the Institute of Sonology, led by Justin Bennett


09 - 10/04/2022


On Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 April, the iconic Spuiplein in the city centre of The Hague will be transformed into the site of an immersive, sonic experience that channels sounds sourced from The Hague by a variety of composers, sound artists, students and pupils.


Featuring work by by Constant Nieuwenhuys, Margherita Brillada, BMB con., Kees Tazelaar, Hilde Wollenstein, and Dick Raaijmakers.


Notions on the relationship between music, environmental sounds, active listening and music in relation to the public sphere are brought together in Sounding the Spui. This unique project transforms the iconic Spuiplein in the city centre of The Hague into the site of an immersive, sonic experience that channels sounds sourced from The Hague by a variety of composers, sound artists, students and pupils. Participants were asked to record environmental sounds and reflect on questions as: which sounds are typically from The Hague? Which sounds dominate the environment? Which sounds could function as sonic markers to orient oneself through the city?


The sonic investigation results in an open-access sound installation in the heart of the city. The work will temporarily compress The Hague’s geography into a single space in the city centre. Various loudspeakers are installed to immerse Spuiplein into other acoustic spaces from the city. All kinds of audience are welcome to experience the installation: invitees and passersby, experts and amateurs, young and old.


The temporal structure of the installation is modular, meaning reputation and permutation of the ‘pure’ recordings and musical compositions is possible. This results in a constant dialogue between recognizable sounds, environmental sounds and compositional work. Recordings are grouped into overlapping, thematic categories (such as infrastructure, nature, markets, sport, labour, signals, docks, language, the sea, music, etc.) and can be arranged according to the time of day, season or location of recording.


Accompanied with Sounding the Spui is an educational project that is intended for pupils and families from various neighbourhoods of The Hague.


Sounding the Spui is part of the Rewire festival.

Find the full programme here