by Kotoka Suzuki for string quartet, dance, live electronic audio/video, and nuclear magnetic resonance machine (Commissioned by the Penderecki String Quartet and Perimeter Institute with funds from the Canada Council for the Arts, 2009 Premiere)

Penderecki String Quartet
Jeremy Bell and Jerzy Kaplanek, violins
Christine Vlajk, viola
Jacob Braun, cello

Dancetheatre David Earle
Danielle Baskerville, Michael English, dancers
Quote from the program note by Jeremy Bell:

As Kotoka Suzuki notes, quantum physics continuously raises fascinating questions about what reality really is. Inspired by the many phenomena of quantum physics, the work metaphorically explores these questions for reality, mainly of time and of the uncertainty principle (the more precisely one property is known, the less precisely the other property can be known). In this work, the uncertainty between reality and illusion is constantly at play. References to different points of time (traces of the past and hint of what is to come) are manifested at various sections of the work, and are often presented by the live-electronic sounds and video images. The level of this uncertainty becomes increasingly stronger at several moments in this work, especially as the sound of the string quartet or the movement of the dancer become more focused and pronounced. The work is held quietly together by an electronic sound derived from a pulse used to calculate the data of the NMR machine at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo. The wave data of this pulse was transformed digitally into sound, and is heard continuously in the background throughout the work. Kotoka Suzuki thanks Raymond Laflamme and Osama Moussa for their inspiration for this project and for providing their data from the Institute.

(movie stills from the TV Ontario transmission of the premiere)

The sound of the NMR Machine