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Knowledges @ Mt. Wilson Observatory

May 28, 2017

Gaze at nebula, star clusters, planets, and the moon all while listening to live musical accompaniment at Mt. Wilson Observatory’s “Knowledges” series on June 3 and 4.

Two of the largest telescopes in the world—the 60-inch telescope and the 100-inch Hooker telescope—are available to the public during these “micro-concerts” limited to a capacity of 20-25 people.

Four performances are scheduled at the 60-inch telescope on Saturday, June 3, beginning at 7:30 with the last performance not starting until 11:30 p.m. Four performances are on the program for the Hooker telescope as well.

Sunday has a purely musical performance with Constance Demby and her self-designed sonic steel space bass (see more about Demby below) and a noon seminar and workshop at the Astronomical Museum Theatre.

Find a rundown of some of the performances below, though visit Knowledges.org.for an overview of the entire event and Knowledges.org/tickets for breakdowns of the various performances.

 

Photo source: MtWilson.edu.

 

 

Saturday, June 3, 7:30 p.m.: Tara Jane O’Neil & 60-inch Telescope Viewing Session

Cameron Perry of The Fader writes of “folk legend” Tara Jane O’Neil: “Anyone who is able to make music that functions as both poem and song possesses something that warrants a special sort of regard.”¹

For more on O’Neil, visit TaraJaneONeil.com.

Doors open at 7:15 and close promptly at 7:30 p.m. (no “in-and-out” allowed)
Cost: $43.19 (includes taxes)
For more info on this event, visit Eventbrite here

 

Photo source: TaraJaneONeil.com.

 

 

Please note: No Handicapped Access: The dome was built in 1908 and is not ADA-compliant, offering no access for those who cannot climb stairs and ladders. Visiting is not suggested for those with respiratory or heart problems due to the stairs and the 5700-ft elevation.

 

Saturday, June 3, 8:50 p.m.: White Magic (Mira Billotte) & 60-inch Telescope Viewing Session

White Magic is somewhat of a (psych)folk hero. Her 2006 Dat Rosa LP has become an underground classic within the folk community, leading her to supporting gigs opening for acts like Animal Collective, Devendra Banhart, Sonic Youth, Joanna Newsom, and Ariel Pink – the latter plays guitar on “I’m Hiding My Nightingale”.²

For more, visit White Magic’s Facebook page.

Doors open at 8:30 p.m. and close promptly at 8:50 p.m. (no “in-and-out” allowed)
Cost: $43.19 (includes taxes)
For more info on this event, visit Eventbrite here

 

Mira Billotte, White Magic; photo by Angie Gray.

 

Please note: No Handicapped Access: The dome was built in 1908 and is not ADA-compliant, offering no access for those who cannot climb stairs and ladders. Visiting is not suggested for those with respiratory or heart problems due to the stairs and the 5700-ft elevation.

 

Saturday, June 3, 7 p.m.: Odeya Nini & 100-inch Hooker Telescope Viewing Session

Nini is a Los Angeles-based “experimental vocalist” and composer.

At the locus of her interests are textural harmony, gesture, tonal animation, and the illumination of minute sounds, in works spanning chamber music to vocal pieces and collages of musique concrète. Her solo vocal work extends the dimension and expression of the voice and body, creating a sonic and physical panorama of silence to noise and tenderness to grandeur.³

For more on Nini, visit OdeyaNini.com.

Doors open at 6:45 p.m. and close promptly at 7 p.m. (no “in-and-out” allowed)
Cost: $43.19 (includes taxes)
For more info on this event, visit Eventbrite here

 

 

Saturday, June 3, 8:20 p.m.: Constance Demby & 100-inch Hooker Telescope Viewing Session

In live concert, Constance Demby presents a range of sonic environments, accompanied by her penetrating voice: the Cosmic-Electronic-Symphonic Orchestra performed on digital sampling synthesizers, the Hammer Dulcimer with over 100 vibrating strings, and the Sonic Steel Space Bass, a ten foot sheet of steel that produces deep, primoridal, resonant sounds. 

Demby’s album Novus Magnificat was noted by USA Today: “There is no other recording in the electronic genre rooted in the harmonies of Bach and the romantics that is so heartfelt.”⁴ Nous Magnificat has been called “the Mozart Requiem of the New Age.”⁵ Hear selected excerpts here (scroll down to “listen”).

For more info about Demby, visit ConstanceDemby.com.

Doors open at 8 p.m. and close promptly at 8:15 p.m. (no “in-and-out” allowed)
Cost: $43.19 (includes taxes)
For more info on this event, visit Eventbrite here

 

 

 

Sunday, June 4:

—Constance Demby performs in a purely musical event at 2-3 p.m. in the 100-inch Hooker telescope dome. Tickets: $20; more info & purchase tickets here.
—Science writer and and artist Margaret Wertheim lead “Making Space at Mount Wilson: An Exploration of Concepts of Space in Mathematics and Cosmology” at the Astronomical Museum Theatre. The seminar, noon to 2 p.m., discusses “the history of Western concepts of space from Dante to string theory, via Descartes, Newton, Einstein and Kaluza-Klein ideas” and the workshop, 3-5 p.m. has Wertheim teaching participants how to construct paper models of non-Euclidean spaces (free event, all materials supplied, no experience necessary; register here).

 

Margaret Wertheim.

 

Can’t attend any of the events this weekend? The Mt. Wilson Observatory Museum and grounds are open daily (in good weather), 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Docent-led guided tours are available on the weekends at 1 p.m. at cost $12 to $15. The Cosmic Cafe is open Saturdays and Sundays, April through November, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Address: Angeles Crest Hwy. (CA Hwy 2) from the 210 Fwy in La Cañada Flintridge. For complete details, visit MtWilson.edu.

 

 

~~~

 

¹ “Listen to the Haunting New Single by Folk Legend Tara Jane O’Neil” by Cameron Perry, February 2, 2017, TheFader.com.

² Quote source: WhiteMagic.bandcamp.com.

³ Quote source: event official text.

⁴ Source: Self.Gutenberg.org./articles/novus-magnificat.

⁵ Quote from Audio Amateur as found at ConstanceDemby.com.

 




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