‘Hunt for the elusive atom’: Manchester composer’s tribute to Graphene Institute

In a quirky fusion of science and music, the ‘composer in residence’ of Manchester’s National Graphene Institute will unveil her testament to the wonder material that’s got everyone talking.

Described as ‘a beautiful, wondrous and original piece of music’, musician Sara Lowes’ Graphene Suite explores the similarities between composition and scientific discovery.

A lunchtime concert tomorrow afternoon at Manchester University’s Martin Harris Centre will see 11 musicians join Sara on the piano, synthesisers, guitars, strings, trumpet and oboe.

Accompanied by a screening of specially created artist visuals, the six-movement, 35-minute piece reflects Sara’s time at the National Graphene Institute with carbon nanostructures lecturer Dr Cinzia Casiraghi.

“The project has taken me into a completely different world, one that I knew very little about,” explained Sara about her commission by Manchester cultural producer Brighter Sound.

“It’s been intriguing to see the creative experimentation in science and to learn about the hunt for this elusive atom of two-dimensional crystal graphene.

“After nine months of research, writing and experimentation, I’m very much looking forward to performing Graphene Suite for the first time – sharing the music with an audience is a great way for the project to culminate.”

In mixing different musical styles, the piece also pays tribute to the pioneering female composers and scientists of days gone by.

Manchester-based Sara – whose music has been praised by the Independent for its ‘intricate detail’, ‘precision, craft and charm’ – has worked with local artists like The Earlies, Tokolosh and Jim Noir.

Following complimentary drinks and nibbles from 12.30pm, the free lunchtime premiere of Graphene Suite will begin at 1.10pm tomorrow, Thursday June 25, at the University of Manchester’s Martin Harris Centre.

More information is available here.

Image courtesy of Manchester University, with inset from Joel Chester-Fields, with thanks

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