Saturday, September 23, 2006

Quarks Swim Free

Not sure how I missed this, but Elliot Sharp has a piece floating around town these days that I really should check out: "Quarks Swim Free":
Quarks Swim Free is E#'s latest algorithmic piece for Orchestra Carbon. For 11 or more musicians and based on prime numbers, Quarks Swim Free creates a dense primordial soup filled with high-energy collisions, gnashing grooves, and warped melodies. Quarks Swim Free premiered at the Venice Biennale in 2003. This performance will be captured by noted documentarian Bert Shapiro for his film on E#'s work.

For this concert the ensemble includes Kinan Azmeh, Curtis Fowlkes, Rachel Golub, Brad Jones, Ron Lawrence, Jenny Lin, Chris McIntyre, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Kevin Ray, Danny Tunick, Alex Waterman and more
Sounds neat, but I was intrigued where the title came from. Best I could come up with was Kenneth Chang's NYT piece (archived by Brookhaven here):
An atomic nucleus consists of protons and neutrons, which, in turn, consist of smaller particles, quarks. Quarks are held together by still another type of particle, gluons. In ordinary matter, it is impossible to pull out an individual quark or gluon.

But with hot temperatures and high pressures, physicists theorize, the gluon bindings loosen, and the quarks can swim free, melting protons and neutrons into a new state of matter, a quark-gluon plasma.
I saw Sharp play at a benefit last year, accompanying a Jenn Reeves film (thanx Jen!), and I definitely would have swung by last night (if one can swing by Carroll Gardens from the Upper West Side...), but it's Rosh Hashanah folks and Kate and I had a service to attend. Happy new years everyone!

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