Skip to content
About FNR
Funding process & policies
News, Media & Events

Luxembourg National Research Fund

“The Sound of Data” closing event… epic, sonic, and immersive

The 11 participants of the artist residency, Valery Vermeulen and Max Cooper offered the public an immersive show that excited not only fans of electronic music.

The closing event of the Esch2022 project “The sound of data – Science meets music” attracted some 600 visitors at Belval’s Rockhal on 3 December. Throughout 2022, scientists and musicians had worked together to create story-telling music using scientific and statistical data.

The project in a nutshell

Eleven local and international artists worked with data, previously collected by Luxembourg-based researchers and used it to compose music. They did this by using a so-called data sonification process, which is basically visualization for the ears: you take a data set, some kind of information, and create sounds with it.

Some artists used traffic data collected by Cosme Milesi-Brault of the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) and Oliver Glassl of the University of Luxembourg. Others used historical data from Luxembourg, provided by Stefan Krebs of the Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C2DH) of the University of Luxembourg. And some used data generated by crowdsourced abstract art, collected by Hugo Parlier and Bruno Téheux of the Department of Mathematics (DMATH) from the University of Luxembourg.

The outcome on stage has been mind-blowing as you can witness in our after-movie.

About the evening of 3 December

Prior to the concert, headliner Max Cooper, an electronica and techno music producer who holds a PhD in computational biology, talked about science, music, creativity and what inspires him. Thereafter a roundtable discussion gathered scientists Djamila Aouada and Oliver Glassl from the University of Luxembourg, electronic musician, mathematician and data sonification expert Dr Valery Vermeulen from Belgium, and local musicians Catherine Elsen and Pol Belardi, who talked about their motivations, challenges, and experiences during this collaborative project.

At 8pm sharp, the musical compositions resulting from the artist residency, organised in the framework of this project, were performed live on stage – each track bringing their author’s own interpretation of the collected data and in its wake a different mood to the audience.

The eleven artists were: Fred Baus (aka SpudBencer), Tessy Troes, All Reitz Reserved, Willem & Adnan Theerens, Pol Belardi, Virgilio Fernandez, Catherine Elsen, Eric Junker (aka Slumbergaze), Hester Bolle (aka Hester -1), Mike von der Nahmer and Thomas Evans (aka Timelord).

After a short break, the audience reconvened to listen and watch the artistic partner of the project, and the mentor of the artist residency, Valery Vermeulen – a Belgium-based mathematician, an electronic music producer, and an expert in the field of sonification. Valery performed his original commissioned piece for The Sound of Data project, based on synthetic 3D body scan data provided by the SnT of the University of Luxembourg (Djamila Aouada & Enjie Ghorbel) – alongside visual artist Jaromir Mulders.

Last but certainly not least, headliner of the evening Max Cooper showcased his mastery of merging electronic music and visual art with technology and scientific inquiry and embarked the audience on a full-fledged immersive journey.

After movie