Expansion Of The Universe


With the composition “Expansion of the Universe”, Rudolf Wakolbinger has created an opus that traces the evolution of the universe from the Big Bang to the present. The composition contains a total of 1.036 staves with more than 1.5 million notes, making it one of the most expansive works in music history. The composition’s duration of 13.8 minutes corresponds to the 13.8 billion years time spanning from the Big Bang until now. The relation between mathematics and music has fascinated the composer since his studies in Vienna. In particular, he focused on converting light frequencies (colors) into pitch levels. In “Expansion of the Universe”, Rudolf Wakolbinger used microwave recordings collected by NASA, (America’s space agency,) where different colors represent the electromagnetic radiation corresponding to the formation of planets and galaxies. Rudolf Wakolbinger converts these colors into perceptible sounds and thus creates the foundation (a formal framework) for his composition.

Electromagnetic waves (including light waves) can be converted to sound (pitch levels). For example, the color red has a wave length of 363 Terrahertz. This would translate to the note F sharp with a small deviation of -33.03 Cent. This is the physical foundation upon which Wakolbinger builds his composition. He divides each octave into 1.200 partials, which allows a musically precise projection of color shifts that took place during the formation of the universe.

The premiere of the installation conducted at the “art church” St.Andrä in Graz, Austria, was an instant success, receiving both critical acclaim and public attention. »Expansion of the Universe» was presented at Ars Electronica 2016 as a sound installation using 216 speakers.

Agency: DRÜBER


Campus Festival Vienna 2015


On Site - Ars Electronica 2016



Composition: Rudolf Wakolbinger
Realisation: Liquid Center & Netzteil

Webdesign & Programming: David Arno Schwaiger
Photo Credits: Andreas Pikal, Roger Richter, Martin Schlögl, Netzteil
Graphic Design & Video: David Arno Schwaiger

Copyright © 2016 DRÜBER.