Tarek Atoui
May 2–13, 2016

The final EMPAC presentation of sound artist Tarek Atoui’s multi-year research and performance project to develop tools and techniques for performing sound to a hearing-impaired audience.

Atoui worked in collaboration with Distinguished Research Professor of Music Pauline Oliveros and her students from the New Instrumentation for Performance seminar to think through propositions for new instruments and performance techniques. Several instruments that Atoui had been developing concurrently were played throughout the public spaces of EMPAC and broadcast into the Concert Hall. The audience was encouraged to explore the acoustic relationships between individual instruments and the architecture that they inhabit.

During this time, Atoui had also been worked in partnership with UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Center for New Media at University of California, Berkeley, and Meyer Sound to develop the Zero Point Nine, an instrument that was premiered in a series of performances presented by BAMPFA in November 2015. The Zero Point Nine traveled to EMPAC for this presentation and was played alongside a new prototype interactive square wave synthesizer The Sit-thesizer by Julia Alsarraf, and the SubBassProtoTon developed by Johannes Goebel. The instruments from these two research and development phases in Troy and Berkeley respectively, were then presented together during Norway’s 2016 Bergen Assembly, organized by Atoui as artistic director.

Atoui presented the project’s first incarnation, WITHIN, as a series of performances and workshops during the Sharjah Biennial in 2013 and has continued to research principals of sonic architecture (in particular, the system of DeafSpace, developed by Hansel Bauman at Gallaudet, Washington) in the development of instrument-building techniques.

Tools and Technology
Production Credits

WITHIN was presented in collaboration with UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA), University of California Berkeley. Co-commissioned by EMPAC