Sounds of the Night Sky

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Have you ever wondered what the stars might sound like?

A new and unique event is coming in February. With special funding from Arts Council England, Sounds of the Night Sky will allow you to experience the night sky at Stowe through a sound-based art installation from contemporary artist Robert Jarvis.

The multi-speaker sound installation will combine art with astronomy to connect listeners with the wider universe over three nights on 20, 21 and 22 February. It 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.

You will be accompanied down Bell Gate Drive on foot, and into the gardens after dark, before entering the garden where the sounds of moving stars will be created like a giant celestial music box. The astronomical characteristics of each star, such as its mass, brightness, colour and distance from Earth, will be translated into musical data such as timbre, note length, volume and pitch. Throughout the event, Robert Jarvis will be on hand to explain more about his fascinating creation.

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 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.


The event Sounds of the Night Sky includes the piece of audio art aroundNorth by Robert Jarvis. This piece is produced by Outdoor Culture with support from Armagh Observatory, PRS for Music Foundation, Arts Council England, UNAWE and QTX. The composition is to be installed as a permanent feature of the grounds of Armagh Observatory in 2015.


Sounds of the Night Sky takes place on 20, 21, 22 February, 6.30 to 9.30pm. Tickets £10 adult, £6 child, £29 family ticket. 5% booking fee applies.