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Manifesto of Materials’ Acoustics
A Symphony of Sound and Substance

From 2004 to 2014, I diligently recorded the soundscape, city acoustics, and architectural sonics of Cairo. With basic, low-budget devices, I curated and feeding my sonic archive and crafted compositions immersed in the essence of the city I call home. Cairo, where I was born and to which my ear is attuned, became my canvas.

Through the urban symphony and architectural melodies, I witnessed the stark transformation of my beloved city—a metamorphosis both swift and profound. The familiar sounds turned dissonant, echoing the relentless pace of change. My sonic perspective evolved in tandem with the city's shifting landscape.

The regime's initiatives ushered in rapid urbanization, reshaping Cairo's skyline and soundscape alike. The recordings I amassed during Cairo's vibrant era now resound with poignant commentary. Each architectural element, each material choice, bore distinctive sonic signatures, encapsulating Cairo's essence.

The Manifesto of Materials' Acoustics draws from field recordings spanning 2004 to 2014, encapsulating Cairo's dynamic journey. Since 2014, the city has weathered its share of upheavals, leaving an indelible mark on its auditory landscape. Silence, once a rarity, now reigns, punctuated only by echoes of urban cacophony.

The city's evolution reverberates through its soundscape, blurring the lines between the populace and the materials that shape their surroundings. Are they active participants or passive recipients of the regime's directives? Uncertainty shrouds Cairo's soundscape, mirroring the opaque political and economic currents that define its trajectory.

While my extensive audio archive preserves Cairo's sonic tapestry, questions linger. Ideological shifts, spurred by opaque political maneuvers and economic imbalances, have veiled the city in an ethereal aura. The once-vibrant sounds now echo like ghosts, haunting the collective memory of Cairo's residents.

In this manifesto, I reimagine materials' acoustics as digital symphonies, each note resonating within Cairo's auditory tapestry. These digital renditions capture the essence of materials as witnessed through a decade-long sonic odyssey—an ode to Cairo's evolution over two transformative decades.


Warm and resonant, wood sings with a timeless elegance. Its grainy texture imparts a subtle richness to its sound, imbuing each note with a sense of organic warmth. Each tap elicits a subtle variation in pitch and timbre, reflecting the grain and density of the material. As sound waves ripple through its organic structure, they evoke a sense of harmony and connection to the natural world.



A sharp, percussive snap that cuts through the air with precision and clarity. Each strike resonates with intensity, echoing the dynamic energy of the cityscape. As vibrations travel through its rigid structure, they create a sense of solidity and permanence, grounding us in the present moment. This ubiquitous material has a heavy, muted voice. Its solid structure transmits sound efficiently, making footsteps and impacts readily audible. However, its density also helps block external noise, contributing to sound insulation.



A robust, earthy clang that rings with steadfastness and resilience. Brick emits a low, muffled sound. As sound waves bounce off its porous texture, they create a sense of warmth and familiarity, evoking the sonics of home.
The porous nature of some bricks can offer limited sound absorption. The porous sizes somehow control the soundwave's journeys inside the bricks. However, brick can also provide good noise isolation. In the symphony of materials, brick serves as a foundational bass note, grounding us in a sense of stability and tradition.
The gaps inside the brick control the properties transportation of the sound. They can absorb some sound energy, but sound transmission can occur through mortar joints as well.



The fragility of the sun. 
A delicate, crystalline chime that shimmers with transparency and light. The smooth surface of the glass produces a luminous, ethereal tone. Each tap releases a shimmering cascade of notes, evoking the beauty of a sunlit prism. Its smooth surface reflects sound waves, scattering them into a shimmering cascade of tones. Its high density allows sound to pass through easily, creating a sense of openness and transparency. Double-paned windows with air gaps, however, significantly dampen sound transmission.



A sharp, ringing sound that reverberates with power and resilience. The sleek surface of steel emits a sharp, piercing tone, reflecting its strength and durability. As vibrations ripple through its alloyed composition, steel creates a sense of strength and resistance.
Sleek and dynamic, steel reverberates with a sharp, metallic clarity. Its smooth surface reflects sound waves with precision, creating a crisp, cutting edge to its tone. When struck forcefully, steel emits a resounding clang, echoing across vast distances with unwavering intensity. Yet, within its cold exterior lies a hidden warmth. In the symphony of materials, steel embodies the relentless march of progress, forging new pathways and pushing the boundaries of possibility.



In a state of purity, it reminds you of ancient times. It has a smell that you can hear. It has a long wave frequency. A rich, resonant bell-like tone that echoes with warmth and sophistication. The malleable nature of copper allows for a wide range of sonic expressions, from soft murmurs to vibrant crescendos. 

Each tap releases a harmonious resonance, evoking the timeless allure of this noble metal. As vibrations flow through its ductile structure, they create a sense of elegance and refinement, enriching the auditory landscape with their golden hues.


A light, airy hum that dances with fluidity and grace. The lightweight properties of aluminum produce a soft, shimmering tone, reminiscent of gentle breezes and flowing waters. Each touch elicits a subtle vibration, reflecting the versatility and adaptability of the material. As sound waves ripple through its resilient structure, they create a sense of movement and freedom, uplifting the spirit with their airy melodies.



A synthetic crackle that reveals undefined spaces. The versatile properties of plastics produce a sharp, crackling tone, reflecting their adaptability and resilience. Unnecessary sonics, delivered to our ears through the eye.



A deep, resonant rumble that reverberates through space, reminiscent of ancient echoes carved into the earth. A rugged, earthy rumble that rumbles with ancient wisdom and strength. As vibrations travel through its crystalline structure, they create a sense of solidity and timelessness, evoking the weight of centuries past. Its rugged surface carries the weight of centuries, bearing the marks of ancient civilizations and natural forces.

A rugged, earthy rumble that rumbles with ancient wisdom and strength. The dense composition of stones produces a deep, resonant tone, reflecting their enduring presence and solidity. Each strike releases a primal vibration, reminiscent of ancient landscapes and timeless monuments. As vibrations ripple through their sturdy structure, they create a sense of stability and rootedness, grounding the auditory landscape in the foundations of the earth.


A smooth, muffled thud that resonates with subtle quietness and refinement. The fine texture of plaster produces a soft, muted tone, reflecting its ability to absorb and diffuse sound. Each touch releases a gentle vibration, reminiscent of hushed conversations and intimate gatherings. As vibrations flow through its porous structure, they create a sense of intimacy and tranquility, enveloping the senses in a cloak of quietude. 



A chalky, powdery whisper that whispers with fragility and resilience. The lightweight properties of gypsum produce a delicate, ethereal tone, reflecting its ability to crumble and scatter. Each touch releases a subtle murmur, reminiscent of shifting sands and weathered stones. As vibrations flow through its porous structure, they create a sense of impermanence and transformation, inviting us to embrace the beauty of change.



A soft, velvety hum that hums with subtle fragility. The smooth texture of lime produces a gentle, soothing tone, reflecting its versatility and adaptability. It deceives you with its solid form, but it contains various tiny pores inside it that reflect minimal sound frequencies.
Each stroke releases a harmonious resonance, reminiscent of sunlit gardens and blooming flowers. As vibrations glide through its porous structure, they create a sense of fluidity and grace, infusing the auditory landscape with their gentle melodies. It is as if you are walking on short green grass at the beginning of the spring season in the park.



A rough and abrasive color that you see in the city. The fragile force that does not remain silent. Cement creates a sense of resilience and determination, grounding the auditory landscape in the foundations of urban endeavor.
It's a socialist material that does not remain alone. Through its blurred pores, you hear the voices of your neighbors and the traffic noises on the streets. Through it, you can hear murmurs, as it is a keeper of secrets sometimes. Other times, everything is transmitted through it and everything can be heard.



From the earth and back to it. It is difficult for a person to harness it easily. Every contact with it has a resonant sound in the body, gentle to the ear, and echoing in the billy. Its crystalline tone reflects its durability and timelessness. Each strike releases a distinct pitch, highlighting the unique mineral composition of the material. 
Because of their passage through time from ancient times, they were statues and temples. It is a history with priceless sounds. As vibrations flow through its hardy structure, they create a sense of permanence and endurance, grounding us in the solidity of the earth.



The senses are in a cocoon of serenity. That produces a soft, sensual sound, evoking the sensation of flowing water and delicate petals. Each caress releases a shimmering resonance, reminiscent of moonlit nights and whispered secrets.



A soft, whispering rustle that murmurs with fluidity and motion. The fine grains of sand produce a rhythmic sound, reminiscent of shifting tides and windswept dunes. Each movement elicits a subtle variation in texture and tone, reflecting the fluidity of the material. As vibrations ripple through its granular structure, they create a sense of ephemerality and transformation.



A moist, earthy squish that is squishy with fertility. The pliable texture of clay produces a soft, malleable tone, reflecting its connection to the natural world. Each touch releases a subtle vibration, reminiscent of fertile soil and rolling hills. As vibrations flow through its porous structure, they create a sense of growth and renewal, nurturing the auditory landscape with their gentle melodies.


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