When Music Meets Science: Innovative Culture

We're working with some of the leading scientific institutions, helping them engage the next generation by connecting science and art culture. 


We're living in a time where scientists are learning how to simulate aspects of the universe in the most unique ways from super-computers to the particle accelerator in CERN. What is more exciting is that institutions like CERN realise the value of art and through new initiatives like ARTS@CERN, this vision of connecting the art and science community is being realised whilst still protecting the scientific integrity of the each concept. 

A great example is the latest project by Ryoichi Kurokawa, hosted at the very credible FACT in Liverpool. Ryoichi is an exceptionally talented artist who blends audio and visual to create a seamless experience. He worked with a leading Physicist and key data from CERN to create the Unfold project shown above. 

Unfold is a synaesthetic, immersive audio-visual experience. Through a complete unison of sight and sound, Kurokawa has created a beautifully abstract (but scientifically based) expression of the beginning of the universe.


Recently, a NASA mission encouraged musicians to look to space as inspiration for creative expression. This isn’t the first time a composer has turned NASA findings into art.

As the Juno mission prepared for insertion into orbit around Jupiter, NASA announced a collaboration with Apple designed to stimulate synergies between musical composition and interplanetary exploration. Highlights of the collaboration, which inspired several pieces of music, are on view in the documentary “Destination: Juno.” The video includes commentary by Juno principal investigator Scot Bolton and can be accessed via iTunes.


Jeff Mills has spent the past 30 years living in the future. In his ongoing adventures as musician, DJ and filmmaker he combines the gleaming optimism of Golden Age science fiction with the protean tumult of the warehouse party. He is forever hurtling forward, an innovator inhabiting a space-time continuum of his own imagining.

Mills was one of the primary instigators of Detroit techno (he was born in the rustbelt metropolis in 1963). He established the avowedly nonconformist Underground Resistance collective with fellow mould-breaker "Mad" Mike Banks and, under his alter-ego The Wizard (now retired), laid down many of the founding principles of a movement that gene-spliced Kraftwerk's digital utopianism and the hedonistic clamour of the early house scene.

A highly regarded techno album inspired by the Cassini-Huygens space probe


What is the future of art and science? How can we reach a stage where art can fund the sciences? Both are incredibly important aspects of society and the common discussion is based on investing in one or the other. This is shortsighted and ignores the vital link between the two. 

Last year NTS Radio put on an event with Four Tet, Floating Points and Gilles Peterson all performing. The concept was to send all proceeds to a Syrian charity. A few months later we saw DJ EZ perform a 24 hour set, raising over £50k in 24 hours, also for charity. Concepts like this unite society in a way only music is able to and as a result focus the attention on important subjects and action. 

How could this ethical music model be applied to the world of science?

1) Museums as record labels and facilitators

When Tate Britain decided to let Kurupt FM bring their Champagne Steam Rooms rave to the infamous halls they we're making a statement, not sure they knew what they in for.

Many forms of contemporary music have always had subtle links with the art world but it's not typical to experience what might be defined as "underground" in these spaces. Institutions like Tate and other museums around the world have the ability to showcase new talent unlike many other entities and with the recent demise of the UK club scene it's logical for new facilitators to give artists the space to grow and exhibit their talents. 

2) Enlightened Art - Partnerships & Commissions

Too many talented artists lack the investment to truly realise their potential or take projects to the next step. At the same time there is a world of established musicians that can experience a lack of inspiration leading to meaningless music.

Institutions like CERN have very specific research and data that underpins everything they do. By commissioning artists to explore these data-sets and interpret them in new ways you start moving closer to more experimental and potentially meaningful work. There should be more collaborations between science and music organisations that lead projects that have purpose.

3) Self Sustaining Art

The real value will come down to the commercial models that make up these new deals.This is the ability to not just invest in art programmes but to have them generate awareness and revenue as well. 

We believe new immersive shows will be the future of the music industry and they will present a perfect platform for large education and scientific institutions to finally inspire the next generation in the most effective way. Imagine when NASA or CERN are able to share their ideas through visual shows that are experienced at festivals and in clubs, performed by leading artists. 


Instead of this being a debate around the Arts vs STEM it should be about how they work together. It's frightening to think that many children won't have the chance to explore music but equally so that they might not even find a passion in science either. 

There are a few key pillars that we can all agree will need to be addressed for our long-term future and they revolve around sustainability, ethics and innovation.  


Brands like Google, Microsoft, Facebook & even Spotify sit in an interesting space; balancing a cultural role with technological vision of the future. We believe they have an important role to inspire the next generation to find an interest in art and science.

Google and Boiler Room used VR to transport people to a Berlin techno club, imagine what the evolution of this is could be when NASA also get involved and take you from a club to a planet.

Keep up to date with this series to see the latest examples on how these brands are connecting art and science in new ways.