(Borexino neutrino detector in LNGS, IT)

Situation of the project

Mikromedas is a data-driven musical project initiated by Belgian electronic musician and mathematician Dr. Valery Vermeulen. The project originally began as a commissioned work by the Dutch Electronic Art Festival (DEAF Festival, Rotterdam (NL)). With Mikromedas compositions are produced using data stemming from space, deep space and astrophysical simulation models.

Completely new approaches and visions are being developed for the project; using astrophysical data and models as tools for artistic creation and live performance.

The project is presented under various thematic performance series. Each series is hereby realized in collaboration with several artists and be presented in various formats.

  • The first performance series, entitled OGLE2005BLG390Lb Series, was launched in 2014. In this series the focus is set on a sonic and musical representation of a possible voyage from earth to the exoplanet OGLE2005BLG390Lb situated near the centre of our Milky Way, Sagittarius A*
  • The second performance series, entitled AdS/CFT 001 Series, launched in 2019, focuses on the highly fascinating world of astrophysical black holes. This series is realized in co production with Concertgebouw Brugge (BE) and Baltan Laboratories (NL). The scientific aspect of the AdS/CFT Performance Series are a collaboration with several academic partners; including the Department of Physics and Astronomy of Alabama University (US), the Institute for Theoretical Physics of KU Leuven (BE), the Centre for Mathematical Plasma Astrophysics of KU Leuven (BE), the Department of Mathematics-Computer Science of University of Antwerp (BE, quantum cosmologist Prof. Dr. Thomas Hertog, former colleague and long time collaborator of Stephen Hawking, Prof. Dr. Matthias Kaminski, Casey Cartwright (Phd Candidate), Dr. Ileyk El Mellah, Dr. Bart Ripperda, Dr. Fabio Bacchini and Prof. Dr. David Eelbode.
  • The third series, entitled SU3 Series, scheduled for 2023 will focus on the physics of subatomic elementary particles. Both standard model physics as well as beyond standard model physics will be included in this series

(Simulation of trajectory of elementary particle near black hole event horizon)

SU3 Series:

This new series focuses on establishing a innovative crossover between the world of subatomic particles, their mathematical representations, the data they generate and the field of (algorithmic) electronic music composition.

The elaboration of the SU3 series will be done in two subsequent steps or phases.

For the first phase we start from the mathematical underpinning of the well established standard model in particle physics- also known under the technical term of the SU3 model. More in concrete this will translate into the quest to transform the various quantum field theories involved into sound and music generating engines. In doing so, we plan not only to use the mathematics but also the data (observed as well as simulated) involved. Elaborating this first step means that we’ll also be taking previous related research into account such as e.g. [Vogt, 2010], [Vogt, 2008], [de Campo, 2006].  However almost all previous such research solely focuses on the scientific aspect of linking sound and experimental physics. It translates in a lot of cases in finding the most suited sonification strategies and algorithms for observed elementary particle data.  This is done without consideration of artistic value or without any artistic application in mind. For the SU3 performance series we will extend this narrative substantially in by focusing both on the scientific as well as artistic side of using elementary particle physics in the sonic domain.

Once a methodology and first body of work is developed using the standard model we’ll extend in the second phase of the project. Hereby we’ll focus on the physics beyond the Standard Model. In literature this is also known under the acronym BSM. Recent research and experiments, such as e.g. the Muon – g2 experiment, hint more and more towards the limitations of the standard model. Evidence is gradually increasing that the SU3 model is insufficient to explain the world on a microscopic level. In this second phase of the SU3 performance series new methods will be developed to use the data, models and mathematics from BSM physics as sound generating instruments. This means we’ll look for possibilities in different domains that include theoretical extensions of quantum field theories such as conformal field theories (CFT’s), super symmetric field theories, the physics of neutrino and muon oscillations, models of quantum field theories near black holes, and the physics of hypothetical particles such as gravitons, leptoquarks, axions or WIMPs (Weakly Interacting Massive Particles).

Expected output of the project

The expected output of the project will be threefold

  • The first output that is will be a new music album with duration of 45 minutes, associated live AV show and release of this album on an international label
  • The second output of the project will be under the format of an audiovisual installation. Depending on the available budget for this can be under the form of a VR installation, a multiple screen AV installation including 3D and/or 3D prints
  • To communicate the research and results to a broader audience a third output of the project will consists of a new lecture performance in. The lecture performance series will hereby focus on the mutual influence and cross over between data sonification, experimental music composition and elementary particle physics. Besides the lecture performance in this format we also plan outreach of the project to a broader audience via online video material and podcasts.


-K. Vogt, A. de Campo, P. Huber, and T. Bovermann, “Exploration of 4D-data spaces. sonification in lattice QCD,” Proc. of the 14th International Conference on Auditory Display, Paris, 2008.

-K. Vogt, R. Höldrich, D. Pirrò, M. Rumori, S. Rossegger, W. Riegler, and M. Tadel, “A sonic
time projection chamber, sonified particle detection at CERN,” in Proc. of the International Conference on Auditory Display, 2010.

-A. de Campo, N. Hörmann, H. Markum, W. Plessas, and K. Vogt, “Sonification of monopoles
and chaos in QCD,” in Proceedings of ICHEP’06, Moscow, 2006