Contemporary Music Festival: Multiverse


Welcome to the 14th year of the Contemporary Music Festival. Formerly known as the Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival, this annual celebration of contemporary music has gained a reputation for combining artistic creativity with technological and scientific development.

MULTIVERSE is the theme of this year’s festival, which celebrates the internationally renowned research combining music, Quantum Physics and the life sciences developed at the University of Plymouth’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research (ICCMR).

ICCMR’s mission is to gain a better understanding of human biology and cognition from a musical perspective, and use this understanding to improve people’s lives. We are developing neuro-technology to control musical systems using brain signals, harnessing living organisms to build novel bio-electronic devices, building interactive intelligent systems for musical creativity and investigating how new types of computers may impact on the future of the music industry.

Our intuition about how the world works breaks down when we try to understand it on the very tiny scale of the atom. In Quantum Physics particles pop up out of nowhere. And they can be in two places at once, and spookily influence each other at long distances. We are made of agglomerations of quantum particles and yet we can’t do any of that.

Humankind struggles to understand how Quantum Physics relates to our daily reality. There are various interpretations of the quantum world. For instance, the ‘many-worlds’ interpretation advocates the existence of parallel universes. Many other interpretations might still emerge.

MULTIVERSE proposes a weekend of musical interpretations of the quantum world. It will premiere a duet between a pianist and an Artificial Intelligence improviser, and a piece composed with a quantum computer. The BBC Singers will perform new compositions by ICCMR composers, including “LAMPEDUSA”, a short opera inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest with musical renditions of particle collision data and a libretto in an otherworldly language invented by David J. Peterson. David is the author of the Dothraki language spoken in the TV series Game of Thrones.


Eduardo R. Miranda
Festival Director

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