Planetarium of Saint-Étienne – 24 September 2014

The “men of knowledge” use the auditory to better understand and interpret the reality. Sound becomes a vehicle of information in its own right for our comprehension of the surrounding world. The collection of data in digital form and their treatment with dedicated software generate a new form of presentation: sonification.

 First we are going to discover the transformation of light from celestial objects into sound: the sonification of light spectra in general and of plasma spectra in particular. The goal is to obtain, in real time, an audio response of the data from experiments with plasma from the MISTRAL machine at PIIM laboratory in Marseille. For this purpose, we will organise a videoconference with the plasma laboratory in order to exchange data through the Internet, and sonify them.

Then, during the concert in the second part of the evening, we are going to present sonification of scientific data on one hand, and musical compositions inspired by science on the other hand. These transformed data are issued from various sources going from light and space to the core of materia and life.

The conference will be given by Alexander MIHALIC (composer, fellow at IMéRA) and Alexandre ESCARGUEL (PIIM / CNRS).


Pieces and sound examples played during the concert:


CASTRO : Heliotropika*
DIENNET : Stars Peace 2* (Cosmophone) (extract)
GOUDARZI : Klimaanlage*
BROHON, MALT : Parcours*
MUNAKATA : Guardian of Genome*
RISSET : Electron-Positron**
SAARIAHO : Nox Boréalis (extract)
STRAUCH : Aurores Boréals* (extract)


Opus Centrum Ensemble: Serge BERTOCCHI (saxophone with pedalophone) and Robert RUDOLF (fujara with pedalophone)

In partnership with:

IMéRA - Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Research | Marseille, France
PIIM – Laboratoire Physique des Interactions Ioniques et Moléculaires | Marseille, France
Visby International Centre for Composers | Visby, Sweden
Swedish Arts Grants Committee | Stockholm, Sweden
Experimental Studio of SWR | Freiburg, Germany
EAS of Radio Bratislava | Bratislava, Slovakia


* Post-treatment of the images for diffusion in the dome by Lionel RUIZ (Association Andromède Marseille)
** Digitization of the VHS cassette
Electron-Positron by Fabien COTHENET (Mémoire Magnétique)