Beyond Quantum Music (2019-22)

The original pilot project Quantum Music, co-funded by Creative Europe, began in August 2015; it was successfully completed in May 2018. This highly original and innovative project managed to push boundaries and bring together the distant worlds ofmusic and quantum physics. The main outcome of the pilot project was an interactive multimedia show Quantum Music, featuring new, specially designed hybrid keyboard instruments, new library of quantum sounds developed from the experiments and formulas of quantum physics and new compositions written specially for this show. Aside from music, the production also contained a visual interactive-educational segment that explained the basic premises of the quantum world to the audience. All performances were accompanied by lectures by some of the most renowned quantum physicists of today. The show, co-financed by the EU grant, was performed in three European partner cities in Autumn 2017: Ljubljana, Copenhagen, and Belgrade. There were additional performances in Singapore (March 2017), Aarhus and The Hague (as part of the European tour in Autumn 2017), as well as London, Paris and New York (after the project ended). The Quantum Music show was performed to sold-out audiences and sparked great interest wherever it was performed. This enthusiasm of the audiences encouraged us to think of further expanding the project, inviting international artists to write new Quantum Music pieces and design new visuals that would be included in the performances.

Our new project Beyond Quantum Music is a direct continuation and expansion of the original Quantum Music project. The project leader, Institute of Musicology of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts has formed a new consortium of partners and associate partners from Austria, The Netherlands, Serbia and Germany, with the purpose of broadening and developing production, educational and artistic aspects of the pilot project (not only with respect to music, but also to visual and digital arts). The primary goal of the new consortium is audience development, predominantly in the four partner countries, but also in the broader European context. The secondary goal is establishing a network of organization and individuals that would continue to perform and promote connections between quantum physics and art, thus secure the long-term sustainability of the project. All partners have previously collaborated on different occasions, and persons from TodaysArt and Incontri Institute in Hannover have participated in the first Quantum Music conference in Belgrade. This is a firm foundation for a long-term and successful collaboration.

The list of partners includes two major festivals of contemporary creativity (Ars Electronica in Linz and TodaysArt in The Hague), specializing in multimedia and digital art, as well as contemporary avant-garde music. Although the fifth partner, Incontri Institute for New Music (part of the University of Music, Theatre and Media, Hannover) is listed as an associate partner, they are fully commited to the project.

The main goals of the project Beyond Quantum Music are:

  • The continuation and long-term dissemination of the results of the pilot project Quantum Music
  • Creation of a dedicated Internet portal where the complete library of quantum samples, as well as all previous artistic and scientific results of the Quantum Music project, would be offered to users worldwide (open access)
  • Competition for artists from the domains of music, visual arts and digital interactive art, who will submit works inspired by the quantum world. The winners would receive financial prizes and their works would be performed or presented during the two days event that will tour four European cities, with working title Quantum Music 2.0
  • Further development and completely new production level upgrade of a new quantum concert/multimedia show for two pianos and quantum systems. Such show will be main musical event within two days programme that would incorporate awarded works by composers, visual and digital artists, as well as works by local artists from partner countries. It will perform in all partner cities (Linz, The Hague, Hannover and Belgrade). This will also involve design and production of an educational, interactive, artistically shaped mobile installation (approximately 100m2), based on the use of high-end technology that would accompany the Quantum Music 2.0 The entire event would last for two days in each city: aside from the live show and the interactive installation, it would also encompass lectures and roundtables by quantum physicists, musicologists and local artists, targeted widest possible audience, especially designed for different age groups
  • Development of interactive art installation dedicated to the results of Beyond Quantum Music project that will become part of permanent exhibition at Ars Electronica facilities in Linz, Austria
  • Audience development and education by means of developing educational audio, video and printed material and interactive components of the show that would be incorporated in the final two-day touring production
  • Further work on theoretical concepts and experiments in the domain of quantum acoustics as related to quantum music
  • Further musicological work related to the study and expansion of the new genre of quantum music established within the pilot Quantum Music project
  • Further expansion of the open access sample library of quantum sounds and their artistic use; composition of new music pieces based on the principles and sounds of quantum physics
  • Development and production of new musical instruments (acoustic and electronic) based on the principles of quantum physics.
  • Further development of the Quantum Link Technology necessary for connecting acoustic instruments with experiments and simulations of quantum physics. Design and production of new hybrid instruments based upon the Quantum Link Technology
  • Further development of the portable hybrid piano technology. At this moment, Sonja Loncar and Andrija Pavlović from the New Arts Center (LP Duo) are the only pianists successfully touring the world on hybrid pianos, just because they are the only ones who have access to portable hybrid piano technology developed within the first Quantum Music project. Since we are talking about a long-awaited revolution in piano composing and performance and having in mind already developed plans for beginning a mass production of this new instrument in 2019, it is logical to expect that more and more pianists will start touring on hybrid pianos in next few years, with dedicated compositions written for hybrid piano.

While these words may sound overly ambitious, we have no doubt that we are at the threshold of the revolution in the piano history, thanks to the technological development that originates from the pilot Quantum Music project. The new project Beyond Quantum Music will just speed up this process.

The main expected outputs of this project include:

  • Realization of quantum physical experiments for the purpose of the project
  • New instruments implementing Quantum Link Technology
  • Expanded sound bank of quantum sounds
  • New compositions of quantum music
  • New visual and digital art works inspired by quantum music
  • New multimedia show, two days event, Quantum Music 2.0 touring European cities
  • Public lectures in European cities
  • A permanent quantum music installation hosted by Ars Electronica
  • Disseminating this new musical genre of quantum music, new musical instruments, new sounds and new compositions to the widest audiences throughout Europe
  • Popularization of quantum physics
  • Organization of the second conference on quantum music in Hannover

Dissemination of project results:

  • The dissemination of the results of Beyond Quantum Music project will be done by already established media channels formed during the first project, as well as through the publication of scientific and professional papers on the subject of quantum music
  • Screenings of documentaries about quantum music on relevant film festivals, TV channels and internet portals
  • Use of Internet channels and social networks for the placement of materials generated in the first and the second project
  • Organizing popular lectures and workshops with the goal of popularizing the goals of the project outcome
  • Ars Electronica and TodaysArt are two large organizations and festival platforms, with a developed network of partners across Europe. TodaysArt is a member of the We Are Europe festival network — an association of 8 major European events that join forces to promote, create and produce innovative cultural practices, defined by creative diversity and exchanges. Their common project aims to develop a prospective vision of electronic culture, technology and entrepreneurship, while contributing to new social developments through an interdisciplinary approach. The project Beyond Quantum Music has a natural tendency to connect with this network, in which the official partner of both projects, TodaysArt, will help in this process. This network, except Belgrade and The Hague, extends to the following cities: Lyon (France), Barcelona (Spain), Thessaloniki (Greece), Graz (Austria), Cologne (Germany), Tromso (Norway). The idea is that the multimedia show Quantum Music 2.0 will use the already existing potential of European project networking organizations with the same goal.
  • ArsElectronica, as one of the most prestigious organizations in the domain of contemporary art, as an official partner of this project, will put its resources at the disposal of the dissemination of the results of this project, not only during the festival itself, but also in its Center and FutureLab, in which interactive quantum music exhibits will be exhibited, with the organization of accompanying educational programs.
  • The Incontri Institute of New Music within the University of Hannover will organize programs for students and postgraduates and disseminate the project results through its network of associate Higher Education and NGO institutions.