To See the Stars
2 sop — fl, cl, vln, vc, pno
"To See The Stars" is a 45-minute, multi-media dramatic song cycle for two sopranos and chamber ensemble which examines the history of astronomy, and telling the story of the irrepressible human desire to come into closer contact with celestial bodies. The piece was inspired by the Hubble Space Telescope—its mission and what it represents. It is the culmination of thousands upon thousands of years of stargazing, study, and discovery. Unfolding in a series of scenes and interludes, To See the Stars follows an abstract narrative centering on five main themes that inspire the study of astronomy: Mystery, Wonder, Aspiration, Curiosity, and Discovery. The piece traces the history of astronomy, with the two sopranos alternately portraying the Voices of the Ancestors, Galileo, and Edward Hubble. By bringing in the stories of Galileo and Hubble, we imply that the technological achievements they inspired have parallel roles in the history of astronomy. The telescope was an enormous technological jump forward, and it made possible a tremendous acceleration in human understanding. The Hubble was another such groundbreaking event. From astrology and prayer to hand-grinding lenses to performing calculations and constructing massive telescopes that orbit in space, there is no length to which people will not go to understand the stars above them. "To See the Stars" was created in partnership with the Maryland Science Center, and was presented in its Davis Planetarium with custom designed video projections and lighting. It was also presented in the Einstein Planetarium of Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.