Sound of Molecules – I. fiddle (with)

Sound of Molecules – I. fiddle (with) premiered during the opening session of ICMSE in Basel on 27 August 2017. This audio-visual production represents a milestone in the on-going unique cooperation between NCCR MSE and argovia philharmonic. For more than one year a group of NCCR MSE scientists (Viola Vogel and Ralf Stutzki) and Swiss artists (Christian Weidmann, Lukas Huber and Samuel Hertig) teamed up in order to create a most unusual communication tool meant to stimulate the societal debate about the ethical challenges of synthetic biology.

The premiere of Sound of Molecules – I. fiddle (with)
was performed by the renowned argovia philharmonic. This 7 minute classical-modern composition both reflects on and challenges the first phase of NCCR MSE research while simultaneously interpreting photo graphic and video graphic sequences which originated in the labs of Molecular Systems Engineering.

Sunday, 27 August 2017: concert program

Terry Riley - In C

In C by Terry Riley is one of the key works of the so-called Minimal Music, a musical form that was found in the 60s in the USA. The invention of Minimal Music can be seen as an artistic liberation from serialism, which is a highly complex method of composition and was the main current in avantgarde music of the 40s and 50s. Since at that time avantgarde music was mainly europe-oriented, the invention of Minimal Music can also be interpreted as a move towards an independent American music scene. Besides Terry Riley, composers like La Monte Young, Steve Reich and Philipp Glass are credited with being among the first to develop compositional techniques that exploit a minimal approach.

Lukas Huber – Sounds of Molecule: I. fiddle (with)

In Sounds of Molecule: I. fiddle (with), I make references to a psychoacoustic illusion called Shepard scale, with which you can trick the brain into thinking that you hear an endless rising – or falling – tone. I freely adapted the concept to a string orchestra, a Rhodes piano and electronics, and combined it with spectral composition techniques, in which the focus is laid on the natural harmonic structure of sounds. In my approach, the „zooming“ into the sounds, and the changes of fine nuances stands in direct relation to the work of the NCCR: Manipulations on a molecular level. Besides that, the ever-rising Shepard Scale shall – in combination with Samuel Hertig‘s video – transmit an impression of the size scales we‘re working with.

„Spectacular music!“

Nobel Laureate in Chemistry Ben L. Feringa. Listen