From the archives: This post is from our original site, MyCityLife back on 8 November 2014
For many, the worlds of science and music are disparate – the former governed by logic and critical thought, while the latter is bound only by ones creativity. While that is true to an extent, the reality is that these two disciplines are closely intertwined. In a sense, both are defined by the pursuit of truth, arriving at conclusions that enlighten and inspire, and these conclusions are only made possible through a combination of mathematical principles, logic and creative thought, as well as a healthy dose of imagination. It could be said that music is the science of the heart, and science is the music of the mind.
The man at the forefront of these two converging domains is particle physicist Professor Brian Cox. Currently a professor at the University of Manchester, Professor Brian also works at CERN in Geneva studying the forward proton detectors for the Large Hadron Collider. Before he was delighting in watching sub-atomic particles smash together at super high velocities, however, Professor Brian experienced success as a keys player for D:Ream, known for UK #hit Things Can Only Get Better. His rockstar charm and accessibility have led to him becoming a key voice in explaining heady concepts to the broader public, appearing on many science programmes with BBC television and radio, including In Einstein’s Shadow, Wonders of Life and Human Universe.
It is these attributes that see Professor Brian the perfect candidate in uniting the worlds of science and music. Professor Brian comes to Brisbane presenting the world premiere of Journey Through The Cosmos, in partnership with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, headed by Chief Conductor Johannes Fritzsch and featuring violinist Jack Liebeck. Combining music, science, film and voice, Journey Through The Cosmos is a presentation of the solar system and beyond; fittingly accompanied by a performance of Gustav Holst’s The Planets, a most spectacular work of symphonic literature. Each movement is crafted to elicit concepts and emotions associated with the influence of the planets on the human psyche, and in its totality, the suite presents the solar system in an astrological sense, forming the perfect juxtaposition from which Professor Brian can present the astronomical science behind it. This unique presentation will also see leading musicologist, composer and journalist, Stephen Johnson, in an illustrated lecture about the art of composing for film with Academy Award-winning Italian composer Dario Marianelli.
This rare event with Professor Brian’s persona and manner of presentation will suit anyone with a sense of wonder. He’ll be channelling other such luminaries such as David Attenborough and Neil deGrasse Tyson, who are looked up to as role models teleporting science out of the lab into popular culture, and daresay, making it cool – s’if it ever wasn’t. Inspiring minds is at the forefront for Professor Brian. “Some of the children who come here,” Professor Brian enthuses, “will have their imagination captured by astronomy by these wonderful ideas set to this wonderful music, and they might say I want to do that.”
Journey Through The Cosmos is largely due to the Super Star Fund, an initiative by the state government that commits $3 million dollars attracting productions and events that feature internationally acclaimed artists to work with local talent and build on Queensland’s reputation in offering world-class cultural experiences. Without waxing political, pursuing a career in the scientific disciplines may be inspired by events like Journey Through The Cosmos. And in every regard, Brisbane is incredibly lucky to host the premiere of a show of this magnitude.
Photo Credit: Rob Maccoll