The Reverse Sessions. Litophone
For The Reverse Sessions, the artist reversed the order in which instruments are usually created, taking the sounds of a collection of ethnic musical instruments from The Dahlem Museum as the starting point. The artist used the audio recordings of live performances that he wrote and directed, to collaborate with instrument makers on imagining and building the objects that could have generated these recordings. Without involving any images, Atoui proposed to engage with sound directly — contrary to the path of ethnomusicology that studies the shape and mechanism of an instrument with an emphasis on its cultural and social context. The Reverse Sessions is the result of this collaboration: eight original instruments that combine string, wind and percussion, which were activated during performances and rehearsals that took place over the duration of Atoui’s five-week exhibition at Kurimanzutto gallery.