Sounds of the cello in the lab
“Magnetar”, a concerto for electric cello by Mexican composer Enrico Chapela, did in fact recently have its premiere in the USA, but exerpts had previously been heard at Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics in Garching. Young cello virtuoso Johannes Moser had chosen the ASDEX Upgrade fusion device as backdrop for a music video.
Where the concern otherwise is to investigate how to ignite the fire of the sun in a power plant here on earth, Johannes Moser now presented fascinating sound patterns with a three-hundred-year old Guarneri cello and its modern electric counterpart. But there is actually a connection: As Chapela explains, it was stars, magnetars to be more precise – neutron stars with particularly strong magnetic fields – that provided the inspiration for his composition.
After the Garching intermezzo the complete work had its world premiere in Los Angeles on 20 October 2011 with Johannes Moser and the Los Angeles Philharmonics, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel.
By courtesy of JPW ArtConcept & Media