Music, Chemistry and Astronomy

18 Aug 2020 - 14:15

 To experience this beautiful piece of music click here

Dr John Woodland, from the Department of Chemistry celebrates the fifth birthday of VOX musical group with a hauntingly beautifully choreographed piece of music combined with beautiful images from Sutherland. Music, Chemistry and Astronomy blended..

It is a piece called Stars by Latvian composer Ēriks Ešenvalds that uses tuned wine-glasses (!) to create an ethereal, otherworldly backing sound. "I had always wanted to perform this piece at Sutherland or somewhere special, but a friend managed to connect us with the SA Astronomical Observatory who kindly provided all sorts of glorious footage of our local South African skies:  A real synthesis of sound and science – exactly the sort of interdisciplinary work that interests me!" says Dr John Woodland

After clinking our champagne flutes to toast VOX Cape Town's fifth birthday on 27 July, the glasses have been carefully tuned to provide the glistening accompaniment to the sonorous, soaring lines of our third virtual project: "Stars" by Ēriks Ešenvalds. It is said that Sara Teasdale (1884-1933), who composed these evocative words, was inspired to write her poetry after gazing up at the sparkling stars on dark, still nights. In his musical setting, Ešenvalds (b. 1977) has used the shimmering, ethereal overtones of tuned glasses to evoke the magic and mystery of the heavens. South Africa possesses expansive night skies and a rich astronomical heritage. Carelize Jacobs, one of our singers, has produced a special video to marry our sounds with these celestial sights.

To learn more about vox click here.

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