The Quantum Music Project With Bijan Norouz
Joint collaboration of Iranian, foreign researchers to make Quantum Music
Tehran (ISNA) – Iranian researchers with the participation of researchers and engineers from other countries are implementing the Quantum Music project and they hope to make the quantum music genre available to the public by 2025 by establishing a connection between music and quantum physics.
According to ISNA, you’ve probably heard of such terms as quantum physics, quantum mechanics, and quantum computing, but are you aware of quantum music? The term is fairly new, but has been growing in popularity and, quite possibly, could have an impact on the future of music.
What exactly is the Quantum Music?
In an interview with ISNA, Bijan Norouz a Quantum Physicist, Acoustic and Electro-acoustic Engineer, Composer, Musician and the CEO of one of the active startup companies in the field of scientific and astronomical music, by referring to quantum music said, “To define quantum music, it might be useful to get an understanding of its root subject – quantum physics, which surrounds theories describing matter at the atomic or subatomic levels. Music, from a scientific standpoint, is simply vibrations in air consisting of varying frequencies”.
As Bijan Norouz confirmed, in reality, the concept of quantum music is mostly imaginary, since quantum physics is still being explored. As a result, the scientists responsible for bringing it to life are relying on the rules of quantum mechanics to work in their favor. Since quantum particles exhibit acoustic properties when atoms meet, it’s believed that these properties can, in theory, be converted to sound, which might be possible for humans to hear, under the right conditions.
As he explained in this interview about the Quantum Music Project by Bijan Norouz, quantum music explores the connection between the complex subjects of quantum physics. He mentioned that much of the initial work takes place in a lab. In one experiment, for instance, data from Bose-Einstein condensate frequencies were converted to actual sounds in a lab and then sent to musicians.
The researcher in the field of astronomical music mentioned, “One of the features of quantum music is that the output is unpredictable when compared to playing an instrument in regular music”.
The Quantum Music Project
Norouz emphasized, “Quantum Music is a project aiming to explore the connection between music and quantum physics. The project presents quantum physics and the quantum world to a wider audience and contributes to the creation of a new musical and scientific genre – Quantum Music”.
He confirmed, “Quantum Music is a project rooted in the area of quantum physics called quantum acoustics. These two, at first glance completely separate worlds – the world of quantum particles, and the world of sound that fully belongs to our reality – come into contact with one another in a series of quantum-acoustics experiments conducted in the most advanced laboratories. During these experiments, quantum particles exhibit acoustic phenomena that can be converted into a sound that is theoretically possible to hear”.
The Quantum Music project enables the translation of this theoretical possibility into reality, establishing direct connections between listeners and the quantum-acoustics phenomena.
The CEO of this startup company added, “The Quantum Music Project came about as a result of growing interest in the concept. This involves an experiment connecting space rock music with the quantum mechanical area of quantum physics. It entails the use of one Fender Stratocaster Custom Shop Electric Guitars and Minimoog Voyager XL and Kurzweil k2600x – modified to interact with quantum particles and output the resulting sound to the listening audience”.
Norouz added, “The main objective of this project is to bring the imaginary principles of quantum physics closer to a wide audience through the most imaginative of all arts – music. Following the universal principle of duality, we aim to answer this question by using two of the acoustically most perfect man-made concert instruments – electric guitar and Synthesizer. How do the laws of quantum physics and aesthetics of music interact?”
He explained, “The electric guitar and Synthesizer will interact between themselves, with the audience and, finally, with quantum systems. To make something like this possible, it was necessary to construct original mechanisms to connect electric guitar and Synthesizer with the world of computers, lasers and quantum physics. The electric guitar equipped with such dedicated hardware and software tools become entirely new instruments – electric guitar and Synthesizer, capable of interacting with the quantum world”.
Overall, the idea of quantum music and the resulting project comprises the talents of both scientists and musicians, including Bijan Norouz, a Quantum Physicist at the Future and Emerging Music Technologies – FEMT in Tehran.
Norouz emphasized, “Forging the link between music and quantum theory is nowhere near easy, considering that the main subject at hand – the quantum phenomena – involves the tiniest building blocks of matter, the study of which is still largely theoretical. However, with concepts such as entanglement and superposition (currently being explored in quantum computing) coming to the fore, the scientists behind the project believe it is possible. A quantum music session will see the conversion of quantum waves (as compared to regular waves from plucking an electric guitar string or hitting a Synthesizer key) to music”.
He confirmed, “At this point, it is purely experimental but if the people behind the project have their way, the genre of quantum music could soon be available to the wider public. Also, while the Quantum Music Project currently focuses on space rock music, it is expected to spread to electronic music and other mainstream genres in the future”.
The researcher mentioned, “Despite the seemingly mind-boggling components that have to be factored into creating quantum music, the experiments have already translated to public performances and lectures on the topic. Today, the idea is growing in Iran, the USA and the UK”.
According to him, a group of top scientists, engineers and artists from several countries participate in this project; it will be published in August 2025.