IMAGE: Tarek Atoui: The Whisperers (featuring Henna Chou), The Contemporary Austin – Jones Center on Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas, 2022. Artwork © Tarek Atoui. Photograph by Brad Marcum.

The Whisperers Performance

Collaboration is central to artist Tarek Atoui’s work. Before The Whisperers opened to the public, three musicians-in-residence each spent two weeks experimenting with innovative sound-making materials Atoui designed, and these experiments helped to inform his Austin installation. In this performance, musician-in-residence Henna Chou takes this research full circle by responding to the artist’s completed installation with guest collaborators Sonya Gonzales, Juan Alfredo Rios-Rodriguez, and Aileen Adler.

Through August 14, we invite you to experience Tarek Atoui: The Whisperers in some new and unexpected ways:

Book tickets to a formal performance to experience how the musicians-in-residence and their collaborators have experimented with the artist’s work to create new ways of perceiving sound.

Delve into explorations of sound in guided listening sessions led by musicians and other facilitators.

Buy tickets to see the exhibition any time and experience compositions of sounds emitted by the objects on view, reverberating throughout the space, and challenging your notions of what sound can do.

Visit to see the full schedule of these unique performances and events!

Due to the format of the performances, capacity is limited, and late arrivals will not be admitted. Please reserve your spot and arrive early!

About the musicians:

Henna Chou is a sound explorer with experiences living in Tucson, AZ; Overland Park, KS; Berkeley, CA; Ames, IA; Beijing, China; and Montpelier, VT. Chou is a volunteer with Church of the Friendly Ghost (COTFG) and Salvage Vanguard Theater and enjoys participating in the Austin, TX creative community as a cellist, guitarist, keyboardist and sound artist. Previous participations include work with Paper Chairs Theater, BLiPSWiTCH, Collide Arts, The Blanton Museum of Art, New Music Co-Op, Stop Motion Orchestra, Go: Organic Orchestra, Phonography Austin, Golden Hornet, Heloise Gold and The Resonant Lung.

Sonya Gonzales is a sound artist from Austin, Texas. She’s a graduate of Goldsmiths University (London, UK) masters in Music – Sonic Arts program who also has degrees in Media Arts/English. She is currently the Managing Director of local non-profit, Church of the Friendly Ghost (Austin, TX) and also works in Business Analytics (Development) at UT Austin. As a sound artist, her latest work centers around ideas on improvisation and collage through various forms of media (video, radio, projections), utilizing different technologies. Fascinated with self-organization and assemblage, she uses sound to research interactions within generative systems mainly through Max MSP, Ableton and sensors.

Juan Alfredo Rios-Rodriguez: Just a day after ditching dentistry school, Rios found himself at a friend's rehearsal room taking the chair to play a drum kit for the first time. His natural beat won him an invitation to a cover band. Since then, music has been Rios main source of living and expression. As he matured as a musician, inspired by the creative hunger to contribute something different, he became part of music bands where he experimented with drum kit setups and sampling pads. By 2010, he was in Austin facing the difficult balancing reality of auditioning and working as a drummer. The opportunity arose to play as a street artist performing with electronics and drums in a food truck in South Congress. This led him to get gigs with bands like Love Hate Affair, Mobley, Big Jaw, Como las Movies.

Aileen Adler is a multidisciplinary visual artist, musician(vox/theremin), composer, and producer that has been performing with the Theremin for over 30 years. She strives to present the Theremin as a diverse and viable musical instrument, adapting it’s “otherworldly” sounds to multiple musical genres including, classical, jazz progressive rock, world, experimental, and the unlimited beyond. She has delighted audiences with her magical musical experimental voyages, from self-produced theater shows, short film production/acting, performing with the Symphony to performing at festivals and lecturing on the technology and history of the Theremin.