A beautiful mix of music and photography
Even 50 years after Neil Armstrong's legendary first step, the moon still mystifies us. In her current concert experience, Susanne Mecklenburg reflects on the ongoing fascination for our earth's little companion using music, song and stories.
Susanne Mecklenburg manages satellite missions at the European Space Agency, ESA. Thanks to her scientific background, topics like the lunar eclipse or the moon's tidal influence formed a natural point of departure. As a classically trained singer, she was, however, equally attracted to the moon's impact on our emotions: Its gentle light, its influence on our dreams, the way it has shaped many of our mythologies. Mecklenburg's own relationship with it even began in early childhood: "When I think of the moon, I instantly think of the sandman," she laughs.
Bringing together the different threads in an artful way required a lot of research. The first stage of the program is the exciting era of Galileo Galilei's early moon observations. We tend to think of Galilei as a singular historical persona, but he wasn't the only one turning our view of the world upside down: His contemporary, the composer Monteverdi, ignited a similar revolution within the traditional model of polyphony. Mecklenburg and her pianist William Hancox also visit Apollo, Greek god of music, whose name graced the first moon mission. Finally, they contrast our growing knowledge about the moon with earlier speculations about 'lunar locals'.
Stylistically, Over the Moon draws from a diverse selection of pieces by Händel via Schumann, Debussy and Britten up until Golijov and Eisler. There is something at once stimulating and dream-like about the way vocal performances, solo piano passages and insights about the pieces take turns.
In a sense, this journey isn't even going to the moon. Rather, it is aimed at our constantly changing inner world of impressions and emotions. Which is why the evening doesn't close with an answer, but a question: What are you thinking of, when you're thinking about the moon?
Susanne Mecklenburg (voice) manages satellite missions at the European Space Agency, ESA and performs as a classically trained singer. In her programs, she combines music of different styles, periods and regions into multilayered musical stories. Video and photography are a natural part of her approach – as is the search for new and rarely performed repertoire. // susannemecklenburg.info
William Hancox (piano) has performed as a solo pianist, chamber musician and accompanist throughout the UK and abroad. He has played in all major concert halls in London and broadcast for Classic FM and the BBC. His teaching activities have included positions at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama and Trinity College of Music, as well as the Britten-Pears School in Aldeburgh.
Please bring something warm as it may get chilly, wear sensible footware and please bring a torch, preferably red light. The Centre, has been built on different levels with high walkways and steps, please be very careful when walking around The Centre especially in the hours of darkness.
While the Centre makes every effort to accomodate wheel chair users and others with mobility issues, by virtue of the nature of the building (grade II* listed), the telescopes are accessed by steep narrow stairs. If you require further information please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Numbers are limited for this event (age 18+ only) so please book early. Either book online or phone The Centre on 01323 832731 to make a booking. Gift Tickets are available for this event please phone to make enquiries.
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The Observatory Science Centre is part of Science Projects Ltd, a company limited by guarantee registered in England No: 02186073 and a registered charity No: 298542. The registered office is 3 – 15 Stirling Road, Acton, London. W3 8DJ. UK.