An outgrowth of choreographer Gilles Jobin's residency at CERN, the world's largest particle physics laboratory, QUANTUM is an example of what happens when artists and scientists interact with one another.
The name CERN is an acronym for Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire (in English, European Council for Nuclear Research). Founded in 1952 and located near Geneva, CERN's mission, as the word nuclear suggests, was to better understand the inside of the atom. The goal, as it evolved, is now the exploration of basic constituents of matter and the forces acting between them. In 2012, CERN launched an artist-in-residence program called Collide @ CERN.
QUANTUM was premiered at CERN in September 2013 with choreography by Gilles Jobin and lighting by Julius von Bismarck, both of whom were the first laureates of the Collide @ CERN program. As Jobin said, "Eventually I found rules for the movement of human bodies inspired by quantum physics." Von Bismarck's lighting had hanging lamps cycling in and out of various resonant modes of a set of pendulums. Costume design was by Belgian fashion designer Jean-Paul Lespagnard.
Carla Scaletti's music was based on subatomic particular data from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).
Music by Carla Scaletti
One hundred meters above the beam-line of the LHC at CERN, where the Higgs Boson was discovered last year, six dancers continuously form and dissolve in fluid patterns of vibration, heat, and non-contact forces, flowing across the stage like a Bose-Einstein condensate, or bouncing through a bubble chamber. The dancers are carried along by spinning waves of quadraphonic sound derived from actual data from the LHC, as computer-controlled lights careen in wave-like patterns above their heads.
QUANTUM was premiered at CERN in September 2013 and performed again in Paris in early November. Here's an excerpt from a review in Le Monde: "The perspectives opened to Gilles Jobin by particle physics have given a new texture to his dance. Taut but flexible, light-hearted but consistent, it's the propulsion of a continually redistributed flow of layers of form in constant motion. With stunning music by Carla Scaletti, the circumvolutions become fresh and compelling."
— This article was first published in New Music World in 2013.
On October 4, 2014, Carla Scaletti visited NYU to conduct a workshop in Kyma and to discuss data-driven music. Her talk was called Sonification of the World.