Kelly Izlar

CERN artist-in-residence develops an ear for physics

Sound artist Bill Fontana taps into the music of the Large Hadron Collider

When Bill Fontana visits a cafe, he’s one of many customers wearing headphones. To a casual observer, he looks like someone in his own private world, cut off from the life around him.


In fact, it’s the opposite:  Tiny, sensitive microphones are amplifying the sounds of the cafe—the clatter of dishes in the kitchen, the laughter of the people at the table next to him, the espresso machine hissing and bubbling—and pumping them into his ears. Fontana devotes his life to capturing and treasuring the music of the moment.

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