Surroundings is an audio-active project facilitated by Slavek Kwi, supported and funded by The National Concert Hall and St. Declan's School, that aims to awaken the child's artistic sensibilities, with a specific focus on S O U N D.

At the end of June a limited edition double-CD will be released (60 pieces; 48 CDs are for children, 2 CDs for St. Declan's Schools and The National Concert Hall and the rest for interested teachers). The CDs contains individual recordings, mainly instrumental pieces played by the children and a sound-collage of words based on answers to the question "what is music?". The artwork for the CD is a collage of images of ears, photographed with all children. Please see included image.

During summer-camps more sound-material will be recorded with the children, exploring the school itself and outing situations from the perspective of sound-environment. An additional 4 recording devices H2 Zoom (including 1 from school there will be 5!) with 8 pairs of headphones have been kindly supplied by The Arts Office of Meath County Council and will be available for children and teachers.

August - September:
Slavek will compose the final piece for 5.1 Dolby surround system using all gathered sound-material. The piece will be constructed from a number of shorter pieces, as mosaic of perceptions. Shorter pieces are also easier for listening regarding various attention spans of children and can be listened to separated units as well as one long piece. The composition will contain not only recordings with children, but also another recordings from diverse natural and/or urban environments collected by Slavek Kwi to allow the children to engage with various aural-situations (=education etc.) The final composition aims not only to commemorate the 50th anniversary of St. Declan's School and document the creative process with the children, but also aims to demonstrate the artistic, aesthetical, experiential and educative possibilities of this installation as a resource for continuous development.

The final presentation will be celebrated in The National Concert Hall October 16th and 17th. At this moment Slavek Kwi and the NCH are in a creative dialogue, discussing how this public presentation will practically happen. The idea is to install 5.1 surround system in The Kevin Barry Room and run the sound-composition non-stop for 2 days; Friday 16th (with the possibility of schools attending) and Saturday 17th (with the possibility of parents attending with children and any other interested parties). How to access and experience the installation will be explained in the printed "manual" distributed at the NCH; this "manual" will include a simple explanation and will be designed to be inclusive for everybody. Example: 1. blindfolds will be provided and visitors can seat themselves comfortably in the middle of room and listen as long they wish. 2. papers and pencils will be provided and visitors can listen and draw on paper everything they hear. The pictures can then be displayed in the room etc.

One of these 2 days will probably include a ceremonial opening with a small concert (either musicians from NCH or/and children too) and an official launch of the CD-release (stereo-mix of final sound-composition).

After project:
Surroundings aims to establish a resource for further exploration; Slavek will continue to develop this idea as far it is possible as part of his usual sound-workshops involving everybody interested.