Composing with Dark Matter, 2022

Rebecca Collins (Artist), David Cerdeño (Other), Ode Aseguinolaza (Artist)

Research output: Non-textual formArtefact

Abstract / Description of output

Ode Aseguinolaza with Rebecca Collins and David Cerdeño
Composing with Dark Matter, 2022
Audiovisual piece for headphones,11 mins 30 seconds
Gold box with brass sensors and mini fan
Funded by Royal Society of Edinburgh, Grant no. 1827

Composing with Dark Matter is an audiovisual installation for a solitary listener ready to engage in an exclusive encounter with dark matter. The creative process began with an email exchange, in April 2022, requesting Ode Aseguinolaza’s involvement to listen in on the first few minutes of the Universe. Ode accepted, keen to embark on an aurally-inflected intergalactic adventure. A series of online discussions ensued between Rebecca Collins, David Cerdeño, and Ode Aseguinolaza in which the nuances of dark matter detection techniques were discussed and numerical video simulations of the galaxy halo shared. Further details on the seasonal fluxes and wind of dark matter were exchanged, making use of details from the ANAIS experiment, situated 800m below Monte Tobazo at the Canfranc Underground Laboratory. Another clue from the Astroparticle Acoustic Research Group at the Valencia Polytechnic University further informed the format. There, physicists and acousticians explore a bipolar acoustic pulse to sonically search for this elusive particle. International interdisciplinary experiments such as KM3Net and ANTARES study raw acoustic signals recorded on hydrophones situated at a depth of 2.5 km in the Mediterranean Sea aiming to assign an acoustic signature to this invisible energy.

For Composing with Dark Matter Ode Aseguinolaza has prepared a bespoke dark matter detector capable of reacting to these particles circulating in the air surrounding the exhibition space. This system, configured using a series of brass sensors, is able to process and analyse the microscopic particles traversing the gallery offering an audiovisual response adjusted to each individual. Ultimately, in Composing with Dark Matter, the inaudible is rendered audible as the solitary listener attunes their imagination to the mysterious microscopic elements within everyday life.

Ode Aseguinolaza is an artist, composer and performer who lives in France. Classically trained, she studied piano at the conservatory and musicology and composition in Paris. Descended from a family of plastic artists, her singular creative universe evolves between classical and electronic music, electroacoustics and musique concrète. She regularly collaborates with visual artists, artist researchers, scientists, performers and, more recently, with dancers. Multidisciplinary approaches enable her to explore diverse questions and the creative process allows her to find common expressions and unique formats to share unusual experiences.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 9 Mar 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Sound Art
  • Composition
  • Science
  • Physics
  • Interdisciplinary
  • Unknown
  • Performance
  • Listening


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