Metricize, 2013

Tarek Atoui
Metricize, 2013
Performed by 10 drummers and an electronic musician fortissimo (ff)
Performance still
Arts Area, Sharjah
Photo by Alfredo Rubio


Tarek Atoui conceived this programme as a sound composition of four interrelated movements that build up and feed back on each other. The unit of composition is the pulse. It is defined here as an action or event (performance, concert, workshop or research group) of a certain intensity (fortissimo, mezzo piano, piano, tacet) that periodically affects the activity and the soundscape of the city.

WITHIN is influenced by the project Tacet, an investigation into how deaf people understand and perceive sound. This research has inspired Atoui to write WITHIN as a chain reaction of rhythmic and plucked pulses, silent and emic ones. It has also led him to look into the philosophy of Qin music, which makes connections between virtuosity, silence and sound.

WITHIN will last for the duration of the Biennial. It progresses spatially from the city to the Biennial. The programme begins with performers occupying roundabouts, alleys and parking lots in the city, then moves to the public squares of Sharjah’s Heritage Area, onto the rooftops of the exhibition spaces and into the courtyards.

This project was part of Sharjah Biennial 11

I- The Call - From The City Into The Biennial

Variations for 10 drummers and an electronic musician fortissimo (ff)
Sources and influence: The musical tradition of the Gulf, the polyphony and polyrhythms that accompanied and marked the transformation of the Gulf societies, Tacet, the perception and relation to sound and rhythm of students from Al Amal School for the Deaf, Sharjah, UAE.

Live Ammunition: Music for Clapping, String Quartet and Electronics
Composed and performed by: Hassan Khan


Composed by: Tarek Atoui
Performed by: Uriel Barthélémi, Susie Ibarra, Lukas Ligeti, Kevin Shea, Jim Black, Yoshimi, Yoshida Tatsuya, Morten Olsen, Brian Chippendale and Cevdet Erek.

II- The Circle - Into The Courtyards

Variations for 3 string performers mezzo piano (mp)

Sources and influence: The Chinese tradition of Qin music and its relation to sound silence and virtuosity.

The cordophone/NoPiano
Composed and performed by: Sophie Agnel

Electric guitar and pedals
Composed and performed by: Charbel Haber

The Guqin
Composed and performed by: Wu Na

III- Tacet

*Tacet, the research component of WITHIN, investigates how deaf people understand and perceive sound. It is a collaborative research on sound and noise as a common and contested ground between the deaf and hearing cultures.

Tacet’s Council is composed of 8 individuals including artists and academics from various disciplines (sound, performance, design, cultural studies, psychology, architecture) and individuals directly related to the issue.

*Tacet is a musical term to indicate that an instrument or voice does not sound. In orchestral scores, it usually indicates a long period of time, typically an entire movement.

IV- The Emic

Sources and influence: The Council’s research on sound, noise and Deaf culture, Metricize, Qin music.

Below 160
Composed by: Students from Al Amal School for the Deaf and Tarek Atoui
Performed by: Students from Al Amal School for the Deaf

Music for handmade electronics, laptop and electric oud
Composed and performed by: Hasan Hujairi