Before embarking on a successful career as a musician, Alan Parsons started out as a sound engineer - earning his first credit on The Beatles’ Abbey Road. Over the years, he has worked and collaborated with various artists, but yesterday marked a unique collaboration. For CERN’s "Bosons & More" party, Alan Parsons Live Project shared the stage with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. Having already visited CERN in 2011, Alan Parsons provides an insight into his views on science and his upcoming performance at the "Bosons & More" event.
Since visiting CERN in 2011, how have your feelings towards the organization developed?
I was thrilled to hear about the recent discovery and how years of work had paid off. Together with my wife, Lisa, and my band, we were very privileged to come to CERN a couple of years ago, having been introduced by our good friends Patrick Geeraert (former Head of the Finance Department at CERN and now Director of Administration at ESO) and Simon Lowery (Communication Specialist at ESO). It was fascinating to find out about the work that goes on there, even without being able to go inside the accelerator. We have a great relationship with many people on the staff at CERN and we are so honoured to have been asked to perform at the special event on September 30th and looking forward to seeing the inner workings of the giant machine.
Can you give us some insights into what is in preparation for us at Bosons & More and how your collaboration with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande is going?
I have been in regular contact with Guillaume Bachellier, the Régisseur Général of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and his musicians and staff. It is always exciting to perform with an orchestra – we rarely get the opportunity. There are some songs – for example "Silence and I" – which realistically can only be performed with a large orchestra. All the scores are already in their hands and they will be rehearsing the music before we arrive as well as with the band.
Has science ever inspired your music?
Indeed it has. We were inspired to make an album called I Robot, which was inspired by the well-known science fiction writer, Isaac Asimov. Another album, Ammonia Avenue, was inspired by the name of a street at a giant petro-chemical plant in Middlesbrough, England and attempted to criticise the unnecessary deterioration of our planet through man-made means.
Do you think that scientists could be the rock stars of tomorrow?
I am bewildered by the complexities of science, particularly by the recent discoveries at CERN. These are very smart people. I have read numerous articles about the Higgs boson discovery and have talked to scientists about it, saying, "So what is it?" They explain it to me and then at the end of the conversation I say, "So what is it?". Scientists are already the stars of the modern age. Can I have their autographs please?