Science and art

Science and music met as Centre research was presented in a concert at the Baltic Sea Festival

“Dialogues” premiered – a piece of music written about Carolin Seiferth’s PhD research

Dimmed lights, tuning instruments, then silence, a few notes played, and an expectant audience in concert hall two at the Swedish Radio – that was the backdrop as Centre researcher Carolin Seiferth took a step out from behind the curtain and onto the stage.

“I was very nervous the days before the concert, but then we had our rehearsal and once I was on stage with the five musicians, I felt good. I was happy to finally share with the audience what we had prepared for nine months. Once the strings started playing, I had a big smile on my face,” says Seiferth.

The music piece “Dialogues” is the result of a collaboration organized by the Baltic Sea Festival. Within the festival’s Science Lab, nine young researchers were paired with nine young composers to co-create music.

Heirloom brown beans, dropped on the stage floor, were part of Carolin Seiferth's performance. Photo: Arne Hyckenberg/Sveriges Radio

Seiferth was teamed up with Finnish composer Sampo Kasurinen. Together, the two created a piece that reflects her research on knowledge co-production in the face of water scarcity on the island of Öland in the Baltic Sea. In the process, the two were guided by the Science Lab’s director Elisabet Ljungar.

“Sampo and I really succeeded in writing and composing a dialogue between music and science, between myself and the musicians, but also between us on stage and the audience in the room. I think that we managed to communicate emotions, a fear of water scarcity, but also moved people with our story. I am extremely happy and grateful for the result.”

Will you be able to take this experience with you in your future research?

“Absolutely! Working together with Sampo and Elisabet was a fun and valuable experience. I got to think very differently about my work and I would really like to continue developing an artistic entry point to my research – to be able to share all of the things that I have learned from our partners on Öland, and to share new knowledge and hope in the face of climate change.”

“Dialogues” and two other performances within one of the festival’s themes, “Sense of Place”, were presented on 25 August. Ahead of the performances, Centre researcher Thorsten Blenckner took part in an introductory talk explaining why music and science should meet.

You can watch Dialogues, the introductory talk, and other performances online »

Published: 2023-08-30

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