Higgs Ocean

Michael Oesterle

Higgs Ocean has been performed in Montréal and Toronto…

“Higgs Ocean” is a term which physicists refer to commonly, and much less poetically, as “Vacuum Coherence.” This concept was first introduced by the English theoretical physicist, Peter Higgs. Higgs is best know for his theory of the Higgs Boson or “the God Particle,” the most sought-after particle in modern physics. Higgs Ocean is a strangely apt name for Vacuum Coherence for it describes the world of the infinitely small, the infinitely powerful and the infinitely mysterious — an ocean that seems to exist more in thought than reality, an effect which sits like the foam at the crest of a wave.

Like so many others, the search for evidence of the god particle is something I became fascinated with in 2008 when the world’s largest particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider, came online in Geneva. It is expected to address some of the most fundamental questions in physics, advancing the understanding of the deepest laws of nature. What I hoped to evoke with this piece are the qualities of searching that the very existence of the Large Hadron Collider represents. Written for a combination of gamelan ensemble and string quartet and structured in three movements. The music contemplates the desire to discover, the knowledge that there are still explorers in the world, and the idea that this frontier of the infinitely small will always remain.


Higgs Ocean

  • Michael Oesterle
  • Year of composition: 2008
  • Instrumentation: string quartet and gamelan



18 Apri 2012
8:00 pm
Série QB
Montréal (Québec)
22 May 2012
8:00 pm
Toronto (Ontario, Canada)