New “Black Hole Symphony” at Boston Museum of Science planetarium

Posted on: July 27, 2022

“When the world stopped in awe last week to gaze at the photos released from the James Webb Space Telescope, the snapshots accomplished a challenging feat: they made astronomy accessible to the general public,” reports Rebecca Tauber in Friday’s (7/22) Boston Public Radio. “ ‘Black Hole Symphony’ performance at [Boston’s] Museum of Science this summer [does] the same, bringing the science of the universe to everyday listeners through music. ‘It takes audiences on this journey straight to the heart of a black hole galaxy,’ composer and conductor David Ibbett said…. The show, which can only be performed in planetariums like the Museum of Science’s, combines 360 degrees of visuals with a piece from the chamber orchestra inspired by the galaxy. As Ibbett explained it, cellist Johnny Mok plays representations of gravitational waves, flutist and piccoloist Jessica Smith plays representations of X-rays and gamma rays and singer Agnes Coakley Cox serves as the ‘voice of the universe,’ alongside guitarist Matt Russo and violinist Ryan Shannon…. The symphony … was born out of conversations between [Ibbett] and a scientist at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.… After their summer performances, they plan to tour in different planetariums and ultimately return to Boston.”