Glasgow International Festival of Contemporary Art

Live Audio Essays: After SFX

A duotone image featuring yellow and black shapes overlapping. At the top of the image in black font it says “after SFX, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Live Audio Essays” and below it says “After SFX, 23.06.24, 7pm, Barrowlands”
Dates and Opening times

Sunday 23 June, 7pm
Doors 6pm. Performance starts at 7pm.
Performance runtime: 55 minutes (approx.)


244 Gallowgate
G4 0TT

Lawrence Abu Hamdan
Presented by

The Common Guild 

Supported by

The Common Guild is supported by Creative Scotland


Barrowlands has no wheelchair access and there is only a stair climber. 

For additional access information, click here

Audio investigator Lawrence Abu Hamdan weaves together urgent political narratives that pivot around acoustic experience and sonic memory. Live Audio Essays presents three key performance works by Abu Hamdan, where sound and politics intersect. The performances present narratives and testimonies that detail violence, oppression and aggression, offering strategies for political critique and action.

After SFX (2018) is prompted by sonic evidence, acoustic memories, and Abu Hamdan’s investigations into crimes that had been heard but not seen. The performance explores a series of sounds deriving variously from legal cases and trial transcripts, transhistorical testimonies, and interviews conducted by the artist with earwitnesses. The artist’s earwitnesses include prisoners held in Saydnaya, a brutal prison operated by the Syrian government.

In order to facilitate their testimonies and determine what they heard, Abu Hamdan experimented with pre-existing cinematic sound effects libraries, before developing his Earwitness Inventory (2018–ongoing) a self-constructed sound effects library specific to the witnesses’ acoustic memories. The inventory includes everyday objects like a car door, popcorn maker, coins and loaves of bread. These objects operate as sonic analogies, conjuring sounds but also referencing psychological states of mind. A number of objects from the Earwitness Inventory will be activated during the performance.

After SFX explores sonic recall, and the question of a shared experience of sound. The performance points towards the difficulty of translation and the limits of language, offering a new acoustic vocabulary to articulate witness experience.

After SFX is performed by Lawrence Abu Hamdan with live sound design by Adam Laschinger and percussion by Iain Stewart. It is presented for the first time in Scotland in a new iteration developed in 2023.

Additional performances by Abu Hamdan include Air Pressure on Thursday 6 June at Galvanizers, SWG3, 100 Eastvale Place, G3 8QJ; and A Thousand White Plastic Chairs on Sunday 9 June at Audio, 14 Midland Street, G1 4PP.

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