Live From The Lab – on FBi Radio

Live from the Lab

12 August 2020
A celebration of science, music, arts and culture.
Musicians from the Conservatorium of Music have been working alongside scientists and engineers from the Sydney Nano Institute, composing new music inspired by their emotional response to the Grand Challenges; the flagship projects at Sydney Nano.

They present their new works as part of National Science Week 2020.

This National Science Week, University of Sydney researchers are partnering with local musicians as part of Live from the Lab. Research from the Sydney Nano Institute’s six flagship Grand Challenge projects has inspired six musicians to create six brand new compositions that are emotional responses to the research in each of the projects.

Live from the Lab is a co-production between FBi Radio and the Nanosonic Stories Catalyst Team (led by Associate Professor Alice Motion, School of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, and Deputy Director (Outreach) of the Sydney Nano Institute) and is being supported by funding from Inspiring Australia.

You can listen on Live from the Lab podcast.

Participating musicians (Nardean, Obscura Hail, Gemma Navarrette, Luke Davis, PTwiggs and Flower Boy 卓颖贤) met their research partners once, for 90 minutes, and were challenged to compose a new piece of music in two weeks. The next time the researchers and musicians will meet is live on FBi Radio on six consecutive weekdays (Friday 14 - Friday 21 August, 2020), when the scientists will hear the compositions for the first time. 

The team are busily preparing podcasts and social videos to complement the live events and the scientists are working on explaining their science in less time than the duration of each of the newly composed tracks. Giving equal weight to the science and music is really important in this project.
Associate Professor Alice Motion

Meet our musicians

Gemma Navarrete

Gemma Navarrete, Conservatorium of Music 

This is a perfect way for the arts and science to blend together in an artistic way; giving individuals an opportunity to learn and articulate their thoughts creatively.”

Luke Davis

Luke Davis, Sydney Conservatorium of Music

"When I first found out about this collaborative project, I ran around the house giggling with excitement. I hadn't even applied yet!

"The sheer possibility of joining this celebration of science and music was too much to contain. 

"I feel grateful for this opportunity to push my boundaries in music making, and to be inspired by scientific ways of thinking beyond what I'd thought possible."

Meet our scientists

Chiara Neto

Professor Chiara Neto, School of Chemistry 

I love everything about ‘Live from the Lab’.

“First it is ‘live’; I will get to hear music composed about our research, for the first time live on radio in Science Week.

“Second, the ‘lab’ is centre of attention; the place where new discoveries are made, including where students discover their passion for science. I hope people enjoy it as much as I will.”

 Associate Professor Jun Huang

Associate Professor Jun Huang, School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering 

"For me, participating in this event gave me the opportunity to let more people understand the content of the work we are engaged in. Also, it is very meaningful to communicate with outstanding musicians."

Dr Lamiae Azizi

Dr Lamiae Azizi, School of Mathematics and Statistics

In music and science, there's a shared joy of things coming to fruition, of pieces slotting into place aesthetically.

"A celebration of beautiful music and fascinating science alongside each other is what I call marvellous."

Dr Shiyang Jia

Dr Shiyang Jia, School of Biomedical Engineering

It's an exciting experience. I hadn’t thought it possible to turn an objective scientific work into an emotional music work. It is a new and unconventional way of communicating my research to the general public and I’m really curious about the outcome.”

Hien Duong

Dr Hien Duong, School of Pharmacy  

"I'm excited to participate in this event to showcase our research  on safe-by-design nanotechnology undertaken at Sydney Nano as a musical composition rather than a traditional PowerPoint presentation."

Dr Taylor Szyszka

Dr Taylor Szyszka, School of Chemistry 

“I feel very lucky to be part of this event.

“The arts and sciences are in many ways the same. Both require passion, creativity, drive and a desire to enhance our lives and our world.

“It’s wonderful to see them showcased together in Live from the Lab.”

Wenjie Yang

Wenjie Yang, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering 

"It's my honor to participate in this event. I do reckon that being able to participate in this event is an encouragement to me.

"And being able to work with talented musicians allows me to listen to our scientific stories from another angle, which is absolutely fantastic."

Associate Professor Alice Motion

Westpac Research Fellow, Sydney Nano and School of Chemistry