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Genomics Forum · News

Robot-inspired new musical work to be premiered



An innovative project fusing arts and science will get its first public airing at the Royal Society of Edinburgh today.


Lab Notes brings together a leading young composer of classical music, Dr Jane Stanley, with independent film maker Martin Clark to create a work inspired by a robot in a modern science laboratory.

Funded through a Scottish Crucible project grant, the short work for piano and accompanying film aims to challenge stereotypical conceptions of robots and increase engagement with contemporary classical music.

Dr Stanley and Mr Clark worked with systems biologist Dr Lorraine Kerr of SynthSys at the University of Edinburgh in creating the work. The robot at SynthSys is used by scientists investigating how the internal biological clock works, how plants respond to different environments, and understanding the causes and consequences of individual differences in the ageing process.

Dr Stanley, a member of the RSE Young Academy of Scotland and Lecturer in Music at the University of Glasgow, said:

"The experience of composing in an interdisciplinary context was new for me. It's already had an impact on my creative process in other compositions, and I'm excited to see how it will change my work in the future."

Dr Kerr commented: "I was delighted to be involved in this innovative project which portrays science in a totally different way and helps demystify what we do on a day to day basis."

The ESRC Genomics Policy and Research Forum, University of Edinburgh, helped facilitate the project and is producing the launch in association with the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Professor Steve Yearley, Director of the ESRC Genomics Forum, said:

"The Lab Notes project has created a striking contemporary classical music work and film, while giving new insight into modern biology and robotics. We've been excited to support this innovative dialogue between the arts and the sciences."

The free launch event for the composition and film is open to the public and takes place at the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 22-26 George Street, Edinburgh from 6pm on May 14th.

To book tickets, visit http://www.royalsoced.org.uk/events/ or phone 0131 240 2780.


Lab Notes