Unveiling the Universe
Art and Science Summit
70 years of discoveries at CERN

CERN Science Gateway
Sergio Marchionne Auditorium

Welcome. Charlotte Warakaulle, Director for International Relations, CERN, and Mónica Bello, Head of Arts at CERN.

15:15 – 17:45
Panel I: Fundamentals
Moderated by Michael Doser.
Speakers: Alan Bogana, Julius von Bismarck, Roman Keller, Semiconductor (Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt), and Tara Shears.

Panel II: The Unanswered Questions.
Moderated by José-Carlos Mariátegui.
Speakers: Chloé Delarue, Elisa Storelli, Rosa Barba, Tamara Vázquez-Schröder and Yunchul Kim.

Panel III: Scientific Imaginations.
Moderated by Mónica Bello.
Speakers: Diego Blas, Chiara Mariotti, Lea Porsager, Patricia Domínguez, and Suzanne Treister.

18:00 – 18:45
Visit to the exhibition Exploring the Unknown with artists present.

19:00 – 20:40
Conversations with scientists. 70 years of discoveries unveiling the Universe
Moderated by Clara Nellist.
Speakers: David Gross, Djuna Croon, Gian Francesco Giudice, and Tara Shears.

21:00 – 21:30
Enigma, a work by visual artist Sigurður Guðjónsson (*1975) and composer Anna Þorvaldsdóttir (*1977). The music is performed live by the string quartet Ensemble Phoenix Basel.

In collaboration with «Musikpodium Zürich»

Is there a “Swissness” in terms of composing? Instead of an answer to this question, we confront the audience with three new works by Swiss composers from three generations, flanked by a work by our friend Erik Oña, who died much too early.

The youngest – Sebastian Meyer – is, like his teacher Erik Oña, in constant search of the best sound with reduced material, be it in terms of choice of instruments or compositional means.

Trumpet player, composer and improviser André Meier – also a former composition student of Erik Oña – deals in his compositional work mainly with algorithmic or machine processes, sonifications, modular and open forms.

The pianist and composer Jean-Jacques Dünki is also active as a musicologist, dealing with both historical performance practice (fortepiano and clavichord) and the composers of the New Viennese School and contemporary music. As a composer he is largely self-taught. He is writing a “Concertino” for cello and ensemble for the French cellist Pierre Strauch and us.

Sound Plasma is a festival dedicated to promote a different view towards intonation.

The 6th edition of the festival experiments with new intonation ideas with a flavour of electroacoustic music. For the first time, a particular focus on music from Switzerland takes place in Tallinn and Berlin.

Festival’s highlights include the Estonian debut performance of Ensemble Phoenix Basel.

The festival reaches out to the Swiss music scene not only because of the impeccable quality of the music/performances but because of the nurturing effect the Swiss musical culture has on developing special and uncompromisingly unique musical voices.

After tackling various aspects of more established aesthetics, based on various intonation systems, the current edition of the festival dares to explore a brand new point of view with a basis in the electronic, and sometimes corny, sounds of the 70s and 80s.

Swiss composer and improviser Norbert Möslang, who comes from St. Gallen, composed a new work for the inauguration of the “Binary Clock” commissioned by the St. Gallen Building Authority.


Concert as part of the festival “30 ans de l’OCG”.

The composer and improviser Norbert Möslang from St. Gallen (CH), has composed a new work for the inauguration of the “Binary Clock”, commissioned by “Hochbauamt St. Gallen”, which was premiered in April 2018 at “Bahnhofshalle St. Gallen” by musicians of the EPhB.  Now the composition “patterns” will be repeated at the “bâtimement des forces motrices” in Geneva.


Swiss composer and improviser Norbert Möslang, who comes from St. Gallen, composed a new work for the inauguration of the “Binary Clock” commissioned by the St. Gallen Building Authority, which was premiered in April 2018 in the Bahnhofshalle St. Gallen by musicians from EPhB. Now the composition “patterns” will be performed again at Sitterwerk St. Gallen on the occasion of Möslang’s 70th birthday.


Exceptional Turkish musician Aydin Esen can hardly be categorized. His main influences are jazz and 20th century classical music, the boundaries of which he crosses seemingly effortlessly as a virtuoso pianist and composer. Aydin Esen was born in Istanbul, where he began playing the piano at an early age. In Boston, he completed a degree at Berklee College of Music, which normally takes four years, in one year. After one of Aydin’s sessions with Pat Metheny in Boston, the latter simply asked, “How did you get so good?” Since his studies, he has won numerous prizes for his compositions as well as as a pianist (including First Prize at the Paris International Piano Competition in 1989). At “Big Basel Festival” EPhB will premiere a new work by Aydin Esen, which was composed for this formation on behalf of the “Big Basel” festival.
“Aydin Esen has been running his own laboratory for decades, pushing his music forward, away from all trends. As a listener, he gives us something like finds from this other world, which he is able to travel with his highly developed musical consciousness.” (Wolfgang Muthspiel)

Norbert Möslang, composer and improviser from St. Gallen, created a new work for the inauguration of the “Binary Clock” commissioned by the St. Gallen Building Department, which was premiered in April 2018 at the “Bahnhofshalle St. Gallen” by musicians of the EPhB. “patterns” is here repeated at the Kunstmuseum St Gallen as part of the “Nachtschicht#18”.


As part of the exhibition “Everything we do is music,” Kunsthaus Pasquart is hosting two concerts with EPhB that will highlight the influence of Indian classical music on Central European and American contemporary music.

Along with Maurice Delage, Albert Roussel was one of the first Western composers to undertake a study trip to India. In 1909, he and his wife made a long trip to India and Southeast Asia. The impressions of Indian music are reflected above all in the metre of the third movement “Krishna” from the cycle “Jouers de flûte”, which deals playfully with irregular beats.

Olivier Messiaen’s main sources of inspiration, besides bird songs, were Indian rhythms, which play a leading role in “Cantéyodjayâ,” one of his first piano works, as well as in the “Turangalîla Symphony,” written almost simultaneously.

The three piano pieces “Elis” by the Swiss composer Heinz Holliger are inspired by lines of poetry by the Austrian poet Georg Trakl. Holliger illustrates the longing for death that speaks from the poems with Indian rhythms, some of which Olivier Messiaen also uses in his music.

Giacinto Scelsi’s work has been influenced since early years by Eastern philosophies, especially from India. In his “Quattro Illustrazioni” he describes four “avatars” of the Indian god Vishnu. The duo for flute and clarinet from 1966 entitled “Ko-Lho” is based on Scelsi’s “philosophy” of the single tone as the foundation of musically invoked transcendence. Scelsi’s preoccupation with non-European music led him away from “occidental” polyphony toward monophonic music enriched with microintervals and multiphonics.

The American composer John Cage was inspired by the Indian aesthetic “Rasa” in his “Sonatas and Interludes” (1946-48), the “String Quartet” (1950) and the “Six Melodies” (1950). The term “Rasa” refers to the mental state of joy and fulfillment, which cannot be put into words, that arises in the viewer when enjoying a successful work of art.

The North Indian Sarangi inspired the Swiss composer Martin Jaggi to write “Kôrd III”. Traditionally, the pitches on this instrument are produced with the nail bed of a finger of the left hand; the finger is thus placed between the string and the fingerboard and pressed against the string from below. For Jaggi, the sound of the Sarangi’s resonating strings comes from the piano: he has e-bows placed on the strings, which produce a quite extraordinary, rather technically cool, or in Jaggi’s words, a “magical sound.”

The driving rhythms of the fast parts are speech rhythms, derived from scientific lexicon entries about the Sarangi.

Jürg Henneberger

Gerald Bennett, co-founder of the Swiss Center for Computer Music (SZCM) and the Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technology (ICST), celebrates his 75th birthday this year. To mark this occasion, the SZCM, in collaboration with the ICST, is organizing a portrait concert featuring a selection of his instrumental and electroacoustic works.

Concept and organization
Lucas Bennett, Sabine Egli, Peter Färber, Johannes Schütt und Judith Winterhager

For many years, EPhB has been a regular guest at various festivals in Poland. Thus, the ensemble performed several times at the festival “Warsaw Autumn” (2006 and 2013), at the “Laboratorium Festival” (2005) and in Katowice (2004) and in summer 2016 as Ensemble in Residence in Sokolowsko, a small but very significant festival with great international appeal.

The invitation for two concerts to Gdansk for the New Music Days are further proof that Ensemble Phoenix Basel has an important mediating role in a country in the area of tension between great musical tradition and a serious hunger for the new in politically complex times.

The limited means of the festival let us refrain from a large-scale project. Nevertheless, the two programs spring from artistic ideas that make EPhB special.

On the one hand, an existing work entitled “Portfolio – land – material – people” will be performed again. In a long lasting composition process the flutist Christoph Bösch and the live-electronics player Thomas Peter have dealt with composition cells and so-called vignettes of the Swiss composer Katharina Rosenberger and expanded their material together with her. Based on images by three Swiss photographers (Robert Frank, Christian Lichtenberg and Sarah Girard), the basic idea for this project was the interdisciplinary confrontation between image and sound, or rather the preoccupation with the relationship between the predominant sense of sight and the sense of hearing, which (too) often “suffers” under this in interdisciplinary projects.

On the other hand, three new compositions by Christoph Bösch, Aleksander Gabryś and Thomas Peter will be heard, which were created especially for the festival in Gdansk.

The dual function of the three musicians, who have been working together for many years, as composers and interpreters of their own works promises a special charm.