Black holes and gravitational waves in the cosmic concert by Tomàs Saraceno

Concert by Tomàs Saraceno December 31st, 2020

On the evening of December 31, Tomas Saraceno proposes to greet the arrival of the new year with an installation in Rome and a cosmic concert, which can be heard anywhere, in the context of the end of year festivities of the city of Rome (

The Argentine artist will stage a multisensory concert made up of laser lights, sounds and vibrations, to explore the connections between the Earth and the cosmos, man and other living beings, nature and the universe. Among the protagonists of this great cosmic concert the gravitational waves, which connect us to the most remote and distant phenomena that we have been able to detect, such as the collisions of black holes or neutron stars, millions or billions of light years from Earth. The luminous path of three lasers, the only visible sign of the artistic event, will start from three symbolic places of the city of Rome for inclusion and social solidarity and will point to special astrophysical sources, including some of the black hole mergers detected by Virgo and LIGO such as GW190513 in the constellation of Perseus near the zenith at the time of the event.

The various kinds of signals emitted by these same celestial phenomena will be a part of the flow of sounds and vibrations, which starting at 10 pm will be streamed on the web and by various national radio channels. The ‘sonorization’ of the gravitational, light, radio and other signals detected and picked up by the planetary network of antennas, which listen to the different cosmic messengers, was in fact reworked by Saraceno’s artists team and harmonized with sounds and vibrations of a completely different nature: those generated by spiders on their webs, environmental sounds or noises produced by man.

“The cosmic concert by Tomas Saraceno is the result of an authentic collaboration between artists and scientists from different disciplines – said Stavros Katsanevas, director of EGO – as the astronomer Wanda Diaz-Mercedez, who is developing an extraordinarily valuable research on the ‘sonorization’ of cosmic signals of different nature. The hope is that these new and promising syntheses of art and science can help us feel united and in communication with the Cosmos, at a time when the global pandemic separates and distances us.”

“This live concert will be a guide to hear without the ears, to see without the eyes – says Saraceno – and to sense without prejudice how another year could become another reality.”

The concert will be one of the main events of the special 2020 edition of Festa di Roma and will be streamed on and up to January 3rd .

At the site one can also find a comment of the Nobel Prize in Physics, Barry Barish for the cosmic concert by Tomas Saraceno and a discussion among the artist, the curators and the involved scientists.

For EGO and Virgo contributions from: Stavros Katsanevas, Wanda Diaz-Mercedez, Vincenzo Napolano, Giuseppe Greco, Gary Hamming, Valerio Boschi, Antonino Chiummo,Pierre Chanial, Irene Fiori.

Enjoy the sound and vibrations!


Event organized in collaboration with the EU citizen science project
Reinforce and with contributions of AHEAD 2020 researchers.

A comment of the Nobel Prize in Physics, Barry Barish for the cosmic concert by Tomas Saraceno

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