Frans Lanting's Origins to be performed at inauguration of Large Hadron Collider

This flower hat jelly (above) and lava river (below) are among the images in Frans Lanting's multimedia production Origins. Photos by Frans Lanting.

Origins, a new multimedia production by UCSC Foundation Trustee Frans Lanting, will be performed October 21 at the official ceremony in Geneva, Switzerland, to inaugurate the Large Hadron Collider, the most powerful machine ever built to study the origins of the universe. Origins will be presented as the entertainment centerpiece of the ceremony, which will be attended by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, King Juan Carlos of Spain, and more than 20 other European heads of state, as well as dozens of Nobel laureates and many international scientific and diplomatic delegations.

CERN's "Concert for a Collider" will be webcast live on Tuesday October 21 at 4:30 p.m. Central European Time (7:30 a.m. Pacific Time).

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the most massive particle accelerator in the world. Built by CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, the LHC represents a triumph of science and international cooperation, involving thousands of physicists from hundreds of universities and laboratories in more than 80 countries. UCSC physicists played a prominent role in the design and construction of one of the LHC's main particle detectors (see earlier story).

When it begins operation, the LHC will simulate conditions that existed a fraction of a microsecond after the Big Bang, the primal explosion from which the universe originated. Experiments are expected to yield new information that will alter our understanding of the physical world, including the discovery of new forms of matter and new laws of physics.

Specially commissioned by CERN for the inauguration ceremony, Origins features the imagery of Frans Lanting and the music of Philip Glass in a multimedia show that celebrates the wonders of the cosmos and the glory of life on Earth. Choreographed by visual designer Alexander V. Nichols, Origins will be performed by Geneva's Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, led by conductor Carolyn Kuan of the Seattle Symphony, with images projected dynamically on a cinema-width screen.

The show is a 20-minute adaptation of the one-hour multimedia production Life: A Journey Through Time, featuring Frans Lanting's photographs and Philip Glass's music, and originally produced by the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music and Music Director Marin Alsop. Lanting consulted with UCSC scientists, including biochemist David Deamer, during the production of Life.