Musical Dimensions

CERN at the Montreux Jazz Festival

9 July 2015 | By

CERN will be back at the Montreux Jazz Festival for its third annual workshop: 'The Physics of Music and The Music of Physics' on 9 July at 15:00 in Petit Palais. Live events from the ATLAS experiment mapped into music will feature as part of the event.

Poster for "The Physics of Music & The Music of Physics" workshop at the 2015 Montreux Jazz Festival (Image: CERN)

Run 2 of the LHC began this spring, bringing with it hopes and promise of new physics and discovery. One of many key items on the LHC shopping list is the existence of new spatial dimensions, a potential means to harmonise gravity in our theoretical understanding of nature.

Robert Kieffer, of the CERN Beam Instrumentation Group and Gaëtan Parseihian, of the Laboratoire de Mécanique et d'Acoustique, CNRS, Marseille, will animate the Physics of Music half of the workshop with a demonstration of the physics behind acoustics. Their programme includes a lesson on sound sculpture and the addition of spatial dimensions to music, followed by a discussion and demonstration of sound perception. Participants will then be treated to an ambisonic concert composed from various sounds made at CERN.

The Music of Physics half of the workshop will be animated by Juliana Cherston, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab, Domenico Vicinanza of Anglia Ruskin University and the GEANT Association, and Ewan Hill, of the University of Victoria, TRIUMF, and the ATLAS Experiment at CERN. They will present a new project that maps physical parameters of LHC proton collisions to sound parameters, thus creating music from the events.

The grand finale will feature jazz pianist Al Blatter playing a duet with sonified live collisions from the LHC. In his attempt to bring harmony between humankind and nature, Al hopes to bring music to a higher dimension – a feat only possible at the Montreux Jazz Festival.