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New and exciting collaboration between ESS and The Academy of Music

Excerpt from the score

Professor Michael Edgerton in exciting and new collaboration with ESS


Why do you collaborate with ESS and when did the collaboration start?

The collaboration began a little more than a year ago. For years I have collaborated with scientists on both artistic and research projects, and just generally been inspired by scientific ideas applied to music composition. Before coming to Sweden, I read about the development of ESS and had the idea to approach them to propose some sort of collaboration between the arts and science. Well, through a chance meeting I met one of the scientists at ESS, Dr. John Weisend and through numerous conversations we developed a Memorandum of Understanding between ESS, Lund and the MHM. The reason for pursuing a collaboration is that I feel new principles and processes from other disciplines, such as physics, can inform and inspire new forms and procedures in music composition.

Tell us about the music, why did you choose percussion ensemble quartet as form?

I had already planned to write for the quartet through personal contact with its director Prof Olaf Tzschoppe at the Hochschule für Künste Bremen, though the exact choice of the instruments was not central to the form of the piece. In fact, I wanted to explore a contradictory phenomenon, that involved exploring sustained sounds on normally iterative (struck) instruments, such as drum, bells and marimba/vibraphone, in order to produce beautiful sounds to me, which are often nasty, uncooperative, ugly and disturbing to others.

What is the title ”Der Rufer” refering to?

Der Rufer refers to the statue in Bremen that refers to an historical person similar to the ancient bard, in this case a soldier of distinction who would give motivational speeches to his troupes before battle.  

When can we expect to hear this music live?

Tentatively, we have the premiere scheduled for October 8 at the InterArts Center. We are also looking into the potential for having a second performance in the future in the Science Village associated with Max IV and ESS.





Short info about European Spallation Source (ESS)

The multi-disciplinary research facility European Spallation Source (ESS), based on the world’s most powerful neutron source, is currently under construction in Lund. ESS is a research Infrastructure with member countries from all over Europe, with Sweden and Denmark as host countries.

ESS will provide scientists with new research opportunities within a wide range of research, enabling them to get precise information about different materials’ structure and dynamics, from plastics and proteins to engines and batteries.

The facility can be compared to a giant microscope, where neutrons are used to analyse samples on an atomic and molecular level. ESS will enable scientific breakthroughs in research related to:


  • medicine
  • environment
  • energy
  • materials
  • transport


Together with the neighbouring synchrotron facility MAX IV, ESS will form a unique hub for materials research and life science in European research.

European Spallation Source (ESS) website