Tarek Atoui and Jad Atoui performing at the opening of 'Tarek Atoui: Cycles in 11'. Sharjah Art Foundation, 2020


Tarek Atoui’s exhibition Cycles in 11 at Bait Al Serkal (19 September 2020–10 April 2021) centred around experimental and innovative musical forms and offered audiences opportunities to learn about and explore instrument-making, compositional structure and musical collaboration. The exhibition was the starting point for this regional and international Residency Programme wherein musicians, composers and artists have been invited to develop new work, either individually or with different audiences in Sharjah.

The residents will have the opportunity to interact with the works within the exhibition. These works, developed over the last 11 years, represent the culmination of Atoui’s ongoing exploration of different methods of listening, composition and performance. The instruments Atoui has created are the product of extensive research into music history and tradition as well as collaborations with different experts. Challenging established ways of listening through innovative approaches to sound, the instruments also build on his earlier project WITHIN, which grew out of years of work with Deaf culture. This project, originating in Sharjah, investigated how deafness can influence the way sound performance, space and instrumentation are understood.

During the residency, the heritage house Bait Al Serkal, located in one of the oldest areas in the city of Sharjah, will operate as both a sound lab and a performance and listening space informed by the local tradition of hospitality.

This autumn, in a multilayered conversation with Sharjah, the residents will investigate the acts of listening and sound-making by collecting physical and non-physical material from explorations around Sharjah and the instruments from Cycles in 11. Their interests lie within creating matrices for building their own instruments, creating musical depictions of their experiences in Sharjah, and investigating sound through other senses. These interventions will take place in Bait Obaid Al Shamsi, Al Hamriyah Studios and Dar Al Nadwa where Atoui’s instruments are located. Several workshops and performances will also take place to encourage the local audience to participate in the residency.

Participating artists

17–26 January 2021
Igor Porte – Resident Advisor
Ivan Macera – Open Call Resident
Christine Kazarian – Open Call Resident

12 November – 1 December 2021
Alan Affichard – Resident Advisor
Leyya Mona Tawil – Open Call Resident

27 November – 16 December 2021
Jad Atoui – Resident Advisor
Anthony Sahyoun – Open Call Resident
Boris Shershenkov – Resident Advisor
Kristoffer Kjaerskov – Open Call Resident
Youmna Saba – Open Call Resident

View more information about the resident artists and advisors here.