Pioneers: Computer Music and Quantum Computing

September 26, 2020 | 7:00 pm 9:00 pm
Roland Levinsky Lecture Theatre 1, University of Plymouth

Image courtesy Rigetti Computing. Photo by Justin Fantl

Bass clarinet: Sarah Watts
Ada Lovelace String Quartet

Entrance free. Booking required. Note: Small venues with limited space. Please e-mail to reserve your place.

The art of computer music has been progressing in tandem with computer science since the invention of the computer. People hardly ever realize that musicians started experimenting with computers far before the emergence of the vast majority of scientific, industrial and commercial computing applications in existence today. The Ada Lovelace String Quartet will perform the Illiac Suite for string quartet, composed in 1957 by Lejaren Hiller and Leonard Isaacson. This is widely acknowledged as the first piece of music composed by a computer. They programmed the ILLIAC computer at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to generate the composition. ILLIAC was the first computer built and owned entirely by an educational institution in the USA. Computers play a pivotal part in the music industry today. And emerging new quantum computing technology will most certainly have an impact in the way in which we create and distribute music in time to come. The University of Plymouth’s ICCMR is pioneering research into applications of quantum computing in music. Sarah Watts performs Eduardo Miranda’s Zeno, a pioneering piece for bass clarinet and electronic sounds produced by a quantum computer interactively.

The performances will be preceded by a talk by Professor Eduardo Miranda on the historical significance of the Illiac Suite for string quartet and an introduction to Zeno.