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Friday, November 17, 2017
Killian Hall at MIT
Cambridge, MA


Phenomena of Growth* (2017) – David Ibbett
Lecture, part I: Irmgard Bischofberger – “Types of Growth”

Stainless Staining (2007) – Donnacha Dennehy
Lecture, part II: Irmgard Bischofberger – “Proportionate Growth”

The Currents (2012) – Sarah Kirkland Snider
Ondes Croisées (1975) – Bernard Parmegiani
Lecture, part III: Irmgard Bischofberger – “Splashing”

Canticle – Sam Torres

*world premiere


Dr. Irmgard Bischofberger, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at MIT


Dr. Bischofberger presented her work on the growth patterns of fluids - the fractal and crystalline patterns that govern the behavior of liquids, and the larger implications of these formations throughout nature. Her talks were be interwoven with projections and music for piano, saxophone, and electronics.


This event explored the beautiful questions in cosmology through music and lecture, as well as celebrated the release of Music of Reality's debut EP ‘Beauty from Nothing’.

Cosmologist Dr. Cora Dvorkin of Harvard presented talks that explored the big, open questions: studying the cosmic microwave background to uncover the physics of inflation, dark matter, and primordial gravitational waves.  The talks were interwoven with performances by acoustic and electronic musicians - each inspired by different questions and exploring different implications for our place in the universe.

Preceding the event, there was a pre-concert discussion on the intersections of the arts and sciences with Dr. Dvorkin and Robert Kirzinger of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.  


Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Arts at the Armory
Somerville, MA


Beauty from Nothing (2016) – David Ibbett

Lecture, part I: Cora Dvorkin – Beautiful Questions in Cosmology
The Botany of Desire (2008) – Mischa Salkind-Pearl
Heat Death* (2017) – Jason Charney
CMB 52121* (2017) – Stefanie Lubkowski

Lecture, part II: Cora Dvorkin – The CMB and the Early Universe
Surfing Cosmic Radio Waves* (2017) – Mary Kouyoumdjian
Mythic Birds of Saugerties (1985) – Lee Hyla
fzzl (2011) – Dan VanHassel
wave figment 1a* (2017) – Mischa Salkind-Pearl

Lecture, part III: Cora Dvorkin – Gravitational Waves
Radiant Sky* (2017) – Robert Honstein

Table Manners DJs

* Music of Reality commission and world premiere


Cora Dvorkin – Beautiful Questions in Cosmology


Sophia Subbayya Vastek, piano
Transient Canvas
Table Manners DJs

IMPULSE + After Party

Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016
Arts at the Armory
Somerville, MA


Drosophila (Fruit Fly) Sonifications – David Ibbett
Drones and Piano – Nico Muhly
Cellogram – James Tenney
Ai Limiti Della Notte – Salvatore Sciarrino
Music of Reality I & II – David Ibbett

Miniatures by Emily Koh, Sam Torres, Clifton Ingram, Curtis K. Hughes, and Giovanni Piacentini.


Paul Garrity – “The Evolution of Sensation"


Stephen Marotto, cello
Sophia Subbayya Vastek, piano
David Ibbett, electronics


In collaboration with biologist and researcher Paul Garrity of Brandeis University, this multi-disciplinary concert showcased Garrity's research into the molecular mechanics of sensation, and its global implications, surrounded by music that delved into the themes of sense, mechanization, and impulse. 

The miniatures by Emily Koh, Sam Torres, Clifton Ingram, Curtis K. Hughes, and Giovanni Piacentini were written in direct response to a sonification that Paul Garrity made in his lab of a neuron firing in a fruit fly.  These works are part of our ongoing mission of commissioning new music that is in direct dialogue with our collaborating scientist, in the hope that new ideas will emerge from this interpretative act.

NoiseGate Festival 2016
Universal Noise

Friday, Sept 23, 2016
New York University, Steinhardt, NYC


Cosmic Microwave Background Sonifications - David Ibbett
Talk - Dr. Tae Hong Park: Urban Noise Pollution
Nunataks - John Luther Adams
Omniscience is a Collective - Jaime Reis
Night Music - Stephan Cabell
Talk - Matthew Kleban: "Pure Noise: Discoveries from the Cosmic Microwave Background"
Music of Reality I & II - David Ibbett


Prof. Matthew Kleban - "Pure Noise: Discoveries from the Cosmic Microwave Background"


Sophia Subbayya Vastek, piano
David Ibbett, electronics


The inaugural NoiseGate Festival was a collaboration between The United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UN-SDSN) Global Arts Initiative, Citygram, Harvestworks, Monthly Music Hackathon, Music of Reality, Kadenze, ThinkCoffee, University of Redlands.  

The theme of the festival centered on the environment in a broad sense, while also aiming to bring awareness to spatial noise, with a particular focus on urban noise pollution.  More information:


This program is rooted in our relationship with the physical world.  Man-made noise, as with any other kind of pollution, masks parts of our world and renders it different from before.  As a word in our cultural language, noise is often associated with “non-music” and the ugly, but noise is everywhere on this earth, and is part of its sheer beauty, when one listens.  

It is easy to forget that both human noise and earth noise have arisen through the same logical progression of the universe.  Humans are not separate from the earth, just as the earth is not separate from the universe, and vice versa.  We have arrived at this point in time together, and though we have progressed to a point where listening intently to our physical world is an almost archaic act, our earth is still one of beauty. A deep and quiet reverence towards it can still be found in all corners of the globe. 

The Cosmic Microwave Background is the most perfect noise source ever observed in nature, and exists as a faint microwave signal observable by radio telescope.  Professor Matthew Kleban will present a talk on some of the incredible discoveries that have come from analyzing this signal.  It is our strongest evidence for the big bang, and may hide traces of dark energy, multiple universes, and cosmic bubble collisions.


May 16, 2016
Spectrum, NYC


Our earliest origins are still a source of mystery and endless fascination for scientists and laymen alike.  Equally mysterious is that somewhere along the way came beauty.  Pairing a talk on cosmic bubble collisions in the early universe with theoretical physicist Matthew Kleban and music about scientific and cultural evolution, we explored these ideas of beauty, discovery, and our natural world.  


Confound Atlas - Sam Torres
Manucodiata - Elijah Shiffer* **
Hazel Colored Nebula - Austin O'Rourke
Music of Reality I & II - David Ibbett* **


Professor Matthew Kleban "Cosmic Bubble Collisions"

* World Premiere
** MoR Commission