Upcoming events

  • 75th ICREA Colloquium - Abstraction in Science and Art: From Quantum Simulators to Free Improvised Jazz


    Speakers: ICREA Research Professor Maciej Lewenstein (ICFO) and musicians Vasco Trilla and El Pricto

    When: 2nd of May 2017, 18:00h

    Where: ICREA, Pg. Lluís Companys 23, 6th floor


    This special ICREA colloquium will start with the 13 minute long movie “Physics, Jazz  and Poetry”, which documents a concert by the Tomasz Stańko New York Quartet, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Nobel Prize awarded to the late Polish poet, Wisława Szymborska. The concert was held in Barcelona in March 2016 under the patronage of ICREA and ICFO. After the film, Maciej Lewenstein will introduce the concept of abstraction, first quoting the Wikipedia, and then discussing abstraction in mathematics and equivalence relations. He will argue that in natural sciences essentially “Modelling = Abstraction”, and illustrate this in physics, in which building of models is based on abstracting from details of reality. He will discuss two examples: a pendulum and the so called quantum simulators of high Tc superconductors. He will then look at the development of the contemporary art as a process of abstraction from the rules of realism in the Western visual arts, or of harmony and tonality in the Western music. In the latter case, he will base his examples on the history of jazz from the swing era to the free improvised music of the XXIst century. The talk will end with a short 20 minute live concert of free improvised jazz by Vasco Trilla (drums and percussion) and El Pricto (reeds). This should stimulate discussion about free improvisation and its rules, and about further analogies between abstractions in science and art. 

    The ICREA colloquia are a great way to learn about remote fields of research from our best experts. We usually have two speakers, who offer their opinions on the same subject from very different angles. Open to all ICREAs and their guests. There’s wine and munchies at the end, please book in advance!