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Experience the music of the stars at Stowe

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There’s a chance to experience a new and unique musical art event at Stowe Landscape Gardens next week.

Sounds of the Night Sky is a sound-based art installation from award-winning contemporary artist Robert Jarvis.

The multi-speaker sound installation will combine art with astronomy to connect listeners with the wider universe

The piece is a real-time sonification of the stars, triggered by the turning of the Earth and creating a 3D musical map of the night sky.

With special funding from Arts Council England, the sound installation runs for three nights from Thursday to Saturday, February 20 to 22.

Visitors will be accompanied down Bell Gate Drive on foot, and into the gardens of Stowe after dark, before entering the semi-wilderness of the newly-opened Lamport Garden.

They are then free to wander within a circle of speakers, set in a clearing beneath the night sky, beholding the beauty of the stars and our window on the cosmos in an entirely new way.

Robert Jarvis’s composition imagines a number of virtual lines emanating from Polaris across the sky.

As a star crosses a line, it sounds a note in his piece, like a giant celestial music box.

The astronomical characteristics of each star, such as its mass, brightness, colour and distance from Earth, are translated into musical data such as timbre, note length, volume and pitch.

Robert Jarvis and astronomy experts will be on hand to explain and bring the installation to life still further.

The entire event takes place after dark.

Hot drinks and other refreshments will be available.

Robert Jarvis began his professional music career in 1985 as a trombonist playing in wide range of spaces – from busking outside to performances in schools, residential home and hospitals.

This soon grew into project work where the focus was on collaborative music making, composition, and engaging with other art forms.

Throughout this time, his interest in composition grew as he not only wrote pieces for the various ensembles he played with, but also continued his teenage experiments with manipulating raw sound, eventually leading to the realisation of a varied body of work.

The idea of a composition that would sonify the night sky came to him on a visit to Armagh Observatory in 2009, .

The Stowe event is the first in a series of live outdoor performances before the composition is installed as a permanent feature in the grounds of Armagh Observatory in 2015.

Sounds Of The Night Sky takes place from 6.30pm to 9.30pm.

Tickets £10 adult, £6 child, £29 family ticket.

Tickets can be booked at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/stowe or call the National Trust ticket line on 0844 249 1895 (booking fee applies).

 

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