This fall/winter, composer collective Consonance is partnering with the Bergamot Quartet and the Baltimore-based Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) to compose and produce Hearing Stars, an album of five original 8–15min. music videos detailing the life cycle of stars. In light of the pandemic, we have shifted our production focus from live events in Baltimore this fall to producing high quality videos that will give us flexibility in allowing for virtual events.
Inspired by the Hubble Space Telescope’s iconic photography, Hearing Stars was conceived as an interdisciplinary means of introducing people, primarily young audiences, to contemporary classical music and astronomy. Over the course of the album, viewers and listeners will be introduced to five distinctive stellar life stages: 1) protostar, 2) star system, 3) supernova, 4) black hole, and 5) dark matter. The project will simultaneously showcase the compositional work of the members of Consonance, the Bergamot Quartet’s musicianship, and STScI’s photography/visualizations. Our shared hope is that Hearing Stars will serve as a tool to ignite curiosity in a new generation of scientists and musicians alike.
Each composer will partner with STScI researchers, who will serve as creative and scientific consultants throughout the process. In the fall, Consonance and the Bergamot Quartet will work with recording artists and videographers to produce high-quality audio-visual materials. The videos will be released online via social media channels and STScI’s Communications department, with the opportunity of presenting our music as part of STScI’s monthly lecture series and other community events. The audio album will also be made free for streaming on platforms such as Spotify and Bandcamp. Once the effects of COVID-19 have subsided, Bergamot and Consonance will take the album on tour, presenting free concerts in Baltimore schools, with visuals broadcast on projector screens.
Funded by Baltimore, MD (August 2020)