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MxTAB2019 – Argo Vals

Argo Vals is an Estonian composer, guitarist and live-electronics artist. He started to perform as a solo artist using live-electronics in 2008. The architecture of sounds resembles at times idm, ambient, math rock, progressive music and nordic jazz. These days Argo also composes music for several dance and theatrical performances. He is a member of musical groups Viljandi Guitar Trio, Karl Petti Band, a guitar duo with Karl Petti and Aigar Vals.

For Musicity x TAB 2019, Argo created a piece in response to the space of the Noblessner Tower.

Here, he shares his insights:

The Noblessner Tower (Tööstuse 46, Tallinn), built in 1914, originally served the purpose of a water tower and has also belonged to a ship building factory.

My interpretation of the building is focused on the recent past starting from the mid '90s when it was purchased by a company dealing with removal of oily residues from ships. It was a highly profitable business at the time and enabled buying this tower to be their office.

Around the millennium the company had 50 employees working at the tower office. In 2001 the building was fully renovated, has been taken good care of since and still looks spectacular in 2019. It consists of 7 floors. The basement floor has a relaxing area with a sauna, pool and gym.

The global oil market has been drying up and today there are only 3 employees left working in the tower. These three office workers occupy the 1st floor. The other 6 floors are empty without almost any furniture. The tower has been for sale for some years already, but according to the owners it’s difficult to sell it, because standards and tendencies for contemporary offices have shifted.

The intro to my piece is about the tower’s wealthy millennium period. The section starting from the second minute expresses a feeling I got from the visit and a vision for the tower´s future. I wish there would be some way to use these rooms in a public or artistic way.



The Noblessner Tower’ by Argo Vals releases September 14 as part of Tallinn Architecture Biennale.

To listen to ‘The Noblessner Tower’, open the Musicity x TAB 2019 Web App and go to the Noblessner Tower!

Musicity x TAB 2019 is commissioned by Tallinn Architecture Biennale - Satellite Programme,the Estonian Ministry of Culture, Eesti Arhitektuurikeskus, EFTEN Capital, Arsenal Keskus, Põhjala tehas and Noblessneri sadamalinnak.

With thanks to: all our Musicity artists, Kirke Päss (curator of TAB 2019 Satellite Programme), TAB2019, Rainer Lillo Music Van and Balbiino.