Tarek Atoui Returns with MATRIX 258

———————————-MATRIX 258 REVISITED———————————

 

Tarek Atoui’s MATRIX 258 Concert was held at the Hearst Memorial Mining Building at UC Berkeley on Saturday, November 7th! Organized in conjunction with the Experimental Media and Performing Art Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, New York, Atoui’s MATRIX project is a continuation of his recent exploration into how sound is perceived by both the hearing and nonhearing.

 

You can read a response by attendee Olivia Ting below, or view the photos of the event on our Flickr album! Banner photo provided by Olivia Ting.

 

“I feel quite lucky to have been able to experience the performances (one rehearsal, actually) at the two venues. Owing to the differences in the building materials and spaces- the experiences were so different.

 

At MILLS the wood material and the low ceiling, and closer proximity of the walls seemed to hold the vibration more intensely. I felt like I was a molecule in the belly of a Leviathan. The musicians conducting the 0.9 instruments were like gods (or team of X-men) playing with the forces of nature.

 

HEARST- With larger space, bricks, marble, steel, and high ceiling, I didn’t fell the vibration as much downstairs, but as I went upstairs, the closer to the ceiling, the more intense/encompassing the vibration.

 

I was running up and down the stairs to feel the differences in vibration – reminds me a bit of the book “The Poetics of Space” by Gaston Bachelard, who explored the emotional resonance of intimate spaces within architectural enclaves. In the opening chapter he talks of the vertical consciousness of a house in which the attic and the cellar, while both have similar functions as storage spaces, have polar emotional qualities; the attic at the top has dual qualities of light and dark and thus can be rationalized, where as the cellar below is always dark and calls to mind subconscious fears. What I find interesting is the idea of spatial memory connected to physical properties of a space.

 

The Hearst Building is beautiful – I love the repetition of roundness theme that made me think of concentric circles of sound wave graphics.”

 

– Olivia Ting

 

2015 Tarek Atoui Concert

 

————————————-ORIGINAL POST————————————-

 

Franco-Lebanese composer and musician Tarek Atoui returns to the East Bay for MATRIX 258.

 

Organized in conjunction with the Experimental Media and Performing Art Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, New York, Atoui’s MATRIX project is a continuation of his recent exploration into how sound is perceived by both the hearing and nonhearing. His MATRIX project began in March 2015, when Atoui spent three weeks at UC Berkeley coteaching an instrument-making seminar with Greg Niemeyer.   Atoui gave a lecture at the David Brower Center introducing new research and engagement with deaf communities and performed a concert at Meyer Sound’s Pearson Theater. The second and final phase of MATRIX 258 comprises a series of concerts on November 5 and 7, at the Mills College Student Union and UC Berkeley’s Hearst Memorial Mining Building, respectively, that will premiere the new instruments. Performers include Bay Area new music luminaries such as James Fei, William Winant, as well as Mills College and UC Berkeley students and others.

 

Continuing themes from Atoui’s 2013 project for the Sharjah Biennial around deaf musicmaking, Atoui has developed new instruments for his MATRIX project,WITHIN 2. The first of these instruments, Zero Point Nine, was made in collaboration with Greg Niemeyer, Perrin Meyer of Meyer Sound, Jeff Lubow from Berkeley’s Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT), and UC Berkeley undergraduate Mitchell Karchemsky. This monumental bass synthesizer produces ultra-low-frequency electronic sounds that are physically felt, perhaps even before they are heard. For the November concerts performers will activate several connected subwoofer speakers to create a subsonic experience variously perceptible to deaf and hearing members of the audience.

 

The SuperPac, the second instrument Atoui developed for MATRIX, is a percussive instrument whose speakers press against the audience members’ backs as they are seated and generate a physical experience rooted in felt vibrations. These speakers connect electronically to a computer station and to a set of tables that have unique surfaces that can be played like a drum with objects such as mallets or sticks. A conductor stands at the computer station to control the sensorial connections between the performers and the audience.

 

In January 2016, WITHIN 2 continues at EMPAC in Troy, New York and later be moved to the Bergen Assembly 2016 in Norway.

 

Public Programs

 

Thursday, November 5, 2015
Concert #1; 6 p.m.
Mills College Student Union
$10 general admission; Cash only, first-come, first-served.
Free for UC Berkeley and Mills College students (current valid ID required)
Limited seating available

 

Saturday, November 7th
Concert #2; 4 p.m.
Hearst Memorial Mining Building, UC Berkeley

Panel discussion; 5 p.m.
Hearst Memorial Mining Building, UC Berkeley
Featuring Tarek Atoui, Perrin Meyer, Greg Niemeyer and Jeff Lubow, moderated by Apsara DiQuinzio

Concert #3; 6 p.m.
Hearst Memorial Mining Building, UC Berkeley
$10 general admission; Cash only, first-come, first-served.
Free for UC Berkeley and Mills College students (current valid ID required)
Limited seating available