Plymouth’s Contemporary Music Festival (22nd–24th February) has been winning plaudits over the last few years, with Sound and Music’s The Sampler saying calling it ‘One of the UK’s most innovative festivals of contemporary music’, the New Statesman saying that it ‘teems with compositional creativity’ and the Telegraph summing it up as being ‘In every sense, a memorable weekend.’
Past festival themes—e.g. ‘Memory’ (2013), ‘Biomusic’ (2015), ‘Voice 2.0’ (2017) and ’Decoding Life’ (2018)—have explored the intersection between arts and science. This year continues that tradition with the concept of the ‘Multiverse.’ This may suggest the cosmic, but in fact the focus in on the smallest elements, with the festival promising ‘a weekend of explorations of the quantum world.’
Events include, on Friday, a talk by David J. Peterson, an inventor of languages such as Dothraki (used in Game of Thones) and Vōv. The latter is used in Eduardo R. Miranda’s opera Lampedusa, which will be performed by the BBC Singers on 23rd. It also includes material composed with software that converts ‘high-energy particles’ collision data from CERN’s Large Hadron Collider into sounds and music.’ On Sunday 24th there will be a collection of short films based upon the festival theme culminating with The End?, a new film by Alexis Kirke. Also on Sunday, Vlatko Vedral, from the Department of Physics at the University of Oxford will give a pre-concert talk entitled Decoding Reality: The Universe as Quantum Information. The concert that follows showcases University of Plymouth’s research into Artificial Intelligence for music, including Music Neurotechnology and quantum computing, in works by Marcelo Gimenes, Alexis Kirke and Nuria Bonet.