For the opening event for Serpentine Gallery’s three-day Memory Marathon, which takes place during Frieze Art Fair Week (October 12-14), acclaimed Lebanese sound artist Tarek Atoui performs ‘La Suite’, a five-hour work inspired by classical Arab music.
Tarek Atoui was born in Lebanon in 1980 and moved to France in 1998 where he studied sound art and electro-acoustic music. In 2006, he released his first solo album in the Mort Aux Vaches series for Staalplaat Records. Atoui is a sound artist who initiates multidisciplinary interventions, events, concerts and workshops and specialies in creating computer tools for interdisciplinary projects and youth education.
Exploring tarab, both as a traditional form of music and an Arabic word to describe the emotional effect music has on the listener, Atoui is inviting 14 internationally renowned musicians – from hip-hop and electronica performers to contemporary and traditional instrumentalists – to create a dialogue with the collection of Kamal Kassar’s AMAR Foundation, which houses the largest library of tarab and classical Arab music in the world.
Atoui says “tarab is not a music genre but a state of ‘melotrance’ that you reach after being exposed to music for a certain amount of time.” Conceived as a series of performances, the audience is welcome any time throughout the duration of the evening.
This event is commissioned for by the Sharjah Art Foundation who bring a broad range of contemporary art and cultural programmes to the communities of Sharjah, the UAE and the region. Working with local and international partners, SAF creates opportunities for artists and artistic production through its core initiatives and public programmes focus on building recognition of the central role art can play in the life of a community.