Vincent Normand,‎ Andre Vida – Tarek Atoui: The Reverse Sessions/The Reverse Collection


Mousse Publishing, ISBN-13: 978-8867492596, English, 80 pages, 2017, Italy

Tarek Atoui has become known for his intense live performances producing uniquely sophisticated electronics with a true physical involvement. In The Reverse Sessions, a project started in 2014, he plays with different elements of music performances: the relationship with the audience, the score, the instruments and the performers. There are ten experimental music instruments, which make The Reverse Collection. exhibited as an installation, with a Reverse Composition coming and growing with the recording of performances with those instruments made by twenty musicians. The publication, lavishly illustrated, catalogues the project. It contains a conversation with Atoui, and every instrument of The Reverse Collection is explained in its own section. Two critical texts contextualise the project: a shorter one by Andre Vida, poetically reflecting on the almost supernatural relationship between the player and the instruments, and a longer one by Vincent Normand reconstructing the history, explaining the relationship between psychoacoustics and the Tarab music form. The publication acts as documentation giving justice to a complex project, where sound and art are complementary. Atoui transverses categories and practices, facilitating an open process enabling the shared instruments and their playing processes. This catalogue then becomes part of the instrument’s “activation” allowing embedded ideas to emerge beyond the contingency of the space and the performance.