Sunday, September 20, 2015


Image: Marine Bass/CERN

This San Francisco-based band is outer the ordinary as in space. The upper cymbal of the outspoken drummer's high-hat is riddled with 2 inch holes. Pan to the pink rhythm guitar that no one would rip off, then Ed will outplay most guitarists with it. Now pan to the short female Japanese bass player singing falsetto. Add a Star Wars-compatible lead guitarist, and you have Deerhoof.

Large Hadron Collider

Very few indie bands—if any other on Earth—could say they actually conducted sonic experimentation at the Hadron Collider. An introduction by physicist James Beacham preceded the experiment:

Thirteen trillion electron volts. That's the energy which the Large Hadron Collider smashes together protons—new, this year, 2015. Right now, a hundred meters below us, superconducting magnets just like these are doing the heavy lifting required to get these proton beams to bend around the twenty-seven kilometer tunnel and allow them to get us to almost the speed of light. And to thirteen TeV [teraelectronvolts], which is the highest energy that humans have ever used in a collider experiment. So what are we looking for? Things like dark matter, dark energy, super symmetry, quantum black holes, large extra dimensions... But really, we're just pushing the boundaries of human knowledge. We don't know what we're going to find at thirteen TeV at the LAC.

This is Satomi of Deerhoof, and I don't know what she's going to do...1

Each band member used their musical instruments—with GoPro's® attached—to sonically simulate the unpredictable chaos of quantum particle collisions at 13 TeV. Bending sound waves above CERN's 27km long proton beam bender.

The first stop of their La Isla Bonita Tour was recorded at the Baby's All Right music venue in Brooklyn, NY:

  1. Beacham, James; Fran├žois Briard. Ex/Noise/CERN: Deerhoof vs. the Large Hadron Collider. YouTube, 18 Sept. 2015. Web. 20 Sept. 2015.
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