Quantum Sound

A Live Performance of Superconducting Instruments

Have you ever wondered what a single electron moving through the universe sounds like?

With scientists Kyle Serniak and Luke Burkhart from the Yale Quantum Institute, sound artist and composer Spencer Topel presents the first-ever music created from the measurements of the dynamics inside superconducting quantum devices, the precursors to quantum computers.

In the intimate space of New Haven’s premiere recording studio Firehouse 12, quantum systems performed by Spencer, Kyle, and Luke, will be played live throughout a one-hour set. Together they will explore these unique scientific devices as musical instruments in this groundbreaking musical experience. The 40-minute musical set will be preceded by a 10-minute introduction to quantum physics giving the audience the key concept to better understand the performance, and will be followed by a 10-minute discussion with the artists.

The Yale Quantum Institute successfully launched its artist-in-residence program in the summer of 2017. This past October, it introduced Spencer Topel as their second artist-in-residence to continue using art as an exploratory medium in their pursuit of understanding and discussing quantum physics. At YQI, Topel will design sound pieces that are built off of the work of researchers and collaboration between them. The residency may traverse sonification and synthesizing sounds through the manipulation of quantum signals, the analysis of the musical implications of phonon lasers and more with the goal of helping researchers more fully understand their signals, as guided by Topel’s expertise. Find out more about YQI and Topel’s involvement >

Topel is an award-winning artist who works with sound, installation and performance. Renowned galleries and concert halls have hosted the presentation of his work globally, at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and The Arts Club of Chicago among other venues. Topel actively researches and designs in his work with acoustics and sound, and currently serves as faculty at Dartmouth College. A few of his recent exhibits include Iced Bodies (with Seth Parker Woods), Echoic Memory I and II, and Listening Glass. View Topel’s portfolio >

Composer and Performer: Spencer Topel
Performers: Luke Burkhart, Kyle Serniak
Producer: Florian Carle

See what Spencer Topel is up to