Tarek Atoui

Friday, May 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 has been working 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 has been developing concurrently will be played throughout the public spaces of EMPAC and broadcast into the Concert Hall. The audience will be encouraged to explore the acoustic relationships between individual instruments and the architecture that they inhabit.

During this time, Atoui has also 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 will be traveling to EMPAC for this presentation to be 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, will be 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.


Julia Alsarraf
Jad Atoui
Johannes Goebel
Jeff Lubow
Matt O'Hare
Pauline Oliveros
Evan-Daniel Rose-González


This musical instrument was invented by director Johannes Goebel and has been installed for this performance. When inside, you can experience frequencies that dip below the human audible limit.

Johannes Goebel: SubBassProtoTon


Rensselaer Arts grad Julia Alsarraf, has developed the Sit-thesizer as part of this performance.

Julia Alsarraf: Sit-thesizer

Victoria Brooks
Multiple Venues
May 13, 2016, 8PM

WITHIN is presented in collaboration with UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA), University of California Berkeley.

Kindly supported by Meyer Sound

With special thanks to Apsara DiQuinzio, Perrin Meyer, Pauline Oliveros, Greg Neimeyer, and Jeff Lubow.

EMPAC 2015–16 presentations, residencies, and commissions are supported by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the Jaffe Fund for Experimental Media and Performing Arts.