Within Atoui’s Within

This is not usually a place I would write about a work/piece/performance I participated in (setting aside now the ongoing battle of thoughts on who is the performer who creator who recipient and if and how blurred those lines are…), but taking in account that it is an experience that had such an impact, and a work that HAS to be spoken about as much as possible… some words just had to be put out there. To exists. And maybe be stumbled upon. 

Tarek Atoui offers an extraordinary and wonderful, artistic and human, experience with his project “Within”. It is a work that starts to “offer” and continues to offer, way before it has begun and way beyond its performance has finished. A situation for multitude of experiences, and ways of and for experiencing. For learning and re-learning how to experience. Experiencing together, for uniting. 

So with all that in mind… this is an open letter to Tarek Atoui. 

Dear Tarek, 

Being part of the Friday performance, the chance to explore and discover the sounds, the voices, of the instruments was just the first priceless moment which filled the imagination with ideas, and unexpected possibilities and inspiration. And then…

… this fact that you have given us all this freedom, to search look and find our own sound, contact and relationship with instruments, creating something little bit of our own.. And only then so effortlessly and imaginatively choreographing it all into the right form, into the music piece! For me, the sound is a movement. A movement of air, in different densities, which travels. And then we hear it, feel it, sense it.. And sometimes we might just imagine we do, but we nevertheless always do. Sense and perceive, in one way or another. And together with silence, they make music. So somehow to say that you are a “choreographer of sound and silence (of moving and of motionless air)” seems more appropriate then simply to say a “composer”. By using and sculpting these gestures, these movements – the physical movement of us, the performers, that in turn make initial movement of the instrument, that then can react and have a movement of its own, and thus make the sound, the ultimate movement, that transfers through air and space, to different degrees, and reaches the audience.. Touches the audience… Literally…. Sometimes on perceivable, and sometimes leaving them to imagine it… You not only make music, but really create exceptional works of art to be lived and experienced!

All of this was, is, such an incredible wondrous gift. But on top of it all, the beauty and exquisiteness of its social side, the social engagement of exchange among “different” people and perceptions, towards realising the non-difference, the equality, that the whole project brings.. I dare to assume that this was not the departing thought for the project, which makes how it is developing and growing even more beautiful! Thank you for making me a part of that, even if just for the split moment in time of the life of this project and work! 

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