July 4th, 2012 marked a very special day. It was Independence Day in the United States, of course (happy anniversary, dear US readers & friends), Frank Ocean had his coming-out (big up, Frank!) and physicists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva announced that they had discovered the existence of the Higgs boson — one of those elementary particles that life, the universe and everything is made up of.
While this might not sound too spectacular for non-astrophysicists, it’s still pretty cool for music fans: many artists have referenced the search of the Higgs boson in their works over the past decades, and some also included sounds of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN into their music.
Below you’ll find a list of musical pieces inspired by the LHC, the ATLAS experiment and the works of theoretical physicist Peter Higgs. This is hardly a complete list, so feel free to add your suggestions in the comments section below, or tweet them using the hashtag #bosonlist.
1. Monolake – Cern-LHC
2. Dopplereffekt – Higgs Mechanism
3. Kate Wax – Dust Collision
4. Brackles – LHC
5. Space Dimension Controller – Journey to the Core of the Unknown Sphere
6. Justus Köhncke – Large Hadron Collider Music
7. Elizabeth Veldon – The Standard Model 1
8. Frank Zappa – Finding Higgs’ Boson
9. Full Blast (Brötzmann/Pliakas/Wertmüller) – Large Hadron Collider
10. Carl Sagan – A Glorious Dawn feat. Stephen Hawking
11. Super Collider – Radianations on the Rise (Submitted by Pytzek)
Honorable discharge: Large Hadron Rap
Photo: © 2012 CERN / Michael Hoch
The author on Twitter:
Kate Wax aka Aisha Devi Enz, is a Swiss-born, half-Tibetan Über talented producer, singer and performer who has just released an album on Border Community, the (almost) anything goes label from James Holden. Dust Collision is a natural fit for the label, with freak-out noir electronics and Wax’s narcotically soulful voice guiding you through dreamy, hazy universes of sound where post-gothic torch songs morphing into tense EBM soul. The album was also Inspired by the Large Hadron Collider where her Grandfather once worked and themes of collision permeate the record. You can stream the whole album, exclusively on Electronic Beats, below. Hit play and read the interview with that follows.
Hey Kate, for our readers who may not have met you before, please can you introduce yourself?
Bonjour, I’m a modern hermit that doesn’t fit in this world. I sometimes see ghosts and get harassed by my alter-egos.
I can only escape in a ritualistic creation process. I think my music is my healer and a mysterious, nice battlefield too.
What was the first piece of music you created?
The first tracks I did were during my Front242 compulsive obsession; industrial music pushed me into creation. I produced a melody and needed to sing, instantly. At that time I did not know I wanted to or even could write, I grabbed
a book and sung Sylvia Plath’s cold wave words. The track is called ‘Beetles and Spider’, it was released on my first EP on Viking Music.
What was the last piece of music you created?
A remix for Harald Björk. It is the first remix I ever did. I always thought it was blasphemy to disintegrate someone’s music and give it birth through a different formula. But I ended up having some sadistic thrills with this destruction-reconstruction concept.
what happened in between?
Your new album is released on Border community – how did you first meet James Holden?
I was walking along a beach in Barcelona, during Sonar Festival, he came to me and we talked about PJ Harvey.
And what assistance did he bring to the record?
I produced the album by myself in my tiny home studio in Geneva. I hid and spent 2 years digging in my childhood, fragmenting and trying to understand my own fucked-up history. I spat it out through words and sounds in a long initiatic process, c When the album was finished, we entered James’ studio and mixed it.
How did you find the process of working with someone else?
Fundamental. It was like opening the gate of my maze, and giving life to a music that was elaborated in the dark. James was a sound revelator, like a subtle lighting on a secret music. We excavated some “live” and abrupt sides of my music, underlined its martial atmosphere. James has a mystic science in exalting my chaos.
Was this the first time you have worked with someone else in the studio? You seem quite independently minded.
Yes. As my production process is an introspective process, I would never want someone else enter my dysfunctional world.
It would be better to die naked.
You have recently taken time off to have a baby – did that effect your approach to music?
I never took time off from doing music, I’m composing or singing every day, it is a discipline close to a vital breath. When I had my baby, she took place in this process. I don’t dissociate music and life, it is a whole same cosmos. There is a song in the album where you can hear her crying. I kept her in the mix as a snapshot.
What comes first words or music?
Writing and singing is the vital move, music follows and feeds that need. Words are the bones and core, music is the blood and skin.
Does a background in design influence your music?
Being a graphic designer is being an observer, finding your own language and building your message. I approached music in a similar way, experimenting, dissecting and twisting noises, finding my own territory of sound, as a proper identity. Computers were the only way to produce music in an independent way. I had no band, I was the band.I learnt to use music software at the same time as I was learning programming and design software, it basically works the same.
Your new album Dust Collision is inspired in part by the Large Hadron Collider. What is it about science that interests you?
I have been surrounded by physics since I was a child, my grandfather was an experimental physicist at the CERN, the centre that developed the LHC. His writings were intense abstraction and it seemed an alternative solid way to explore our world. While writing, I realized I was talking about crashes, collision and accidents obsessively. That theme became the nucleus of the album. The album embeds many concepts of collisions, starting from its personal aspect that could be the “infiniment petit” of Blaise Pascal until reaching its universal perspective, the “infiniment grand”. Collision is the matrice of the universe from the atomic to the astronomic.
What connection do you make between science and music?
They are both complementary ways of taming the world.
There are many conflicting emotions and feeling on the album – is this a conscious or is it representative of your personality?
My music reveals every schizophrenic part of me. Each part speaks as a prophet in his own truth. I’m in a quest, with constant opposite feelings. The confrontation of concepts is fertile, it is my motivation.
What music do you listen to in the morning?
Godspeed You Black Emperor.
And finally, what it your most exiting recent discovery?
Gaffer tape, it can stick and close everything.