Where Music Meets Science

TAU Buchmann-Mehta School of Music’s project Quadrivium aims “to reposition music among the sciences”
23 August 2023
Noga Nakash, one of the composers in the Quadrivium project (photo: Rafael Ben-Menashe).

Interdisciplinary collaboration went up a notch when Dr. Ofer Gazit was approached by his musicology student Gad Asher, who is also a biochemistry professor at the Weizmann Institute of Science, to “reposition music among the sciences”. 


The pair came up with a project named “Quadrivium”, which aimed to present scientific problems through music in an aesthetic and accessible way, by bringing together composers from TAU’s Buchmann Mehta School of Music and researchers in physics, chemistry, molecular biology, and neuroscience from the Weizmann Institute.


“Each composer-scientist team explored data sets, technological tools, and methodological correlations between music and science to help them hear anew familiar problems and develop new forms of musical structure and performance,” explains Dr. Gazit. Among the questions considered were the rhythmic properties of cells, the sonic resonances of bosons, the role of sound in spatial and temporal perception, and the synchronization of metal nanoparticles.


The compositions which emerged from this project were presented in a joint symposium in June 2022, and a concert of the resulting musical collaborations was held at the BMSM’s Clairmont Concert Hall in January 2023. All of the musical pieces were multi-media productions, “the music of 2023,” Gazit says, presenting the visual aspects of scientific problems along the way. 


Noga Nakash, who is a TAU 2022 graduate in Music Composition, was one of the composers participating in the project. Working with a scientist studying proteins, she combined electronic music with improvisational live music to mimic the body’s biological processes. She also performed in the piece. “It was a fun project, with lights and music interacting together,” she says. 



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