New York-based composer Gerald Cohen, known for his moving and vibrant chamber music, opera, choral and liturgical music, announces an exciting and important upcoming world premiere: Voyagers, to be performed with astronomical projections at New York’s esteemed Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History on November 28th, is a new quintet inspired by the Voyager space mission.
Voyagers, a composition for clarinet and string quartet, is a tribute to the two Voyager spacecraft on the 40th anniversary of their launch, and of the music sent to accompany them on their journey out of the solar system. The piece, a linking of music, science and visual art, was commissioned by and written for the Cassatt Quartet and clarinetist Vasko Dukovski. Accompanying astronomical visualizations will be created by Carter Emmart, director of Astrovisualization at the American Museum of Natural History.
The work will be performed at the Museum’s Hayden Planetarium Space Theater in New York City on November 28, 2017 at 7pm. Tickets range from $12-$15, and are available for purchase online.
Cohen says “When the Cassatt Quartet asked me to write a piece based on the theme of ‘voyages’ for a planned concert, I recalled that the two Voyager spacecraft—launched in the late 1970s, explorers of the outer planets, and now journeying beyond the edge of our solar system—were each launched with a ‘Golden Record’, the brainchild of Carl Sagan, containing recordings of selections of Earth’s music, along with photos and sounds of human life. This was sent as a message, to any extra-terrestrial civilization that might find the record, to convey the essence of human life on Earth.”
This 25-minute piece focuses on several of the pieces that were part of the Golden Record, and weaves them together in a composition that celebrates humanity’s quest to explore the universe, and the power of music to express the rich emotional and cultural world of human beings. The creators of the Golden Record chose a very idiosyncratic selection of pieces from around the world, and Cohen has in turn chosen several of these pieces—a Renaissance dance, an Indian Raga and a late Beethoven quartet—as the main source material for his composition about music and exploration.
Best-selling author, documentary filmmaker and producer of the Voyager Golden Record, Timothy Ferris, will be giving a brief contextual talk at the top of the program. Ferris has been called Called “the best popular science writer in the English language” by The Christian Science Monitor and “the best science writer of his generation” by The Washington Post.
For more about composer Gerald Cohen, please visit geraldcohenmusic.com