Music from Second Sound: How Advanced Physics Inspired Der Rufer for percussion quartet

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This report will discuss how principles from the advanced physics of cryogenics influenced my composition Der Rufer for percussion quartet. In this paper I explain how I translated information and concepts from superfluid helium (He II) to music composition. Achieved using different methods ranging from purely intuitive to quasi-quantitative, I transferred the following eight principles from ultra-cold physics into organized sound, including: anisotropy, isotrophy, vortices, vortex rotation, bifurcations, mutual friction, turbulence past an obstacle, and second sound. Written for Professor Olaf Tzschoppe, director of the Bremen Percussion Quartet, this work is the first result of a planned long-term collaboration with J.G. Weisend II, a Deputy Head of Accelerator Projects at the European Spallation Source (E.S.S.).

Keywords European Spallation Source (E.S.S.), Superfluid turbulence, Music composition, Art-science collaboration, percussion instruments.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4
Pages (from-to)29-38
Number of pages10
Journal Emille: the Journal of the Korean Electro-Acoustic Music Society
Issue number2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Nov 20

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Music

Artistic work

  • Text

Free keywords

  • European Spallation Source (E.S.S.)
  • Superfluid turbulence
  • music composition
  • Art-science collaboration
  • Percussion instruments


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