CONTACT: GARY GALLUZZO
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0009; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Oct. 17, 2002
UI offers free 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24 'Sun Rings' presentation
The University of Iowa will present a free discussion and presentation titled
"Sounds of Space and the Kronos Quartet's 'Sun Rings'" from 3:30
-4:20 p.m. Thursday,
Oct. 24 in Lecture Room 1 of Van Allen Hall on the University of Iowa Campus.
Scheduled in conjunction with the Oct. 26 Hancher Auditorium world premier
of "Sun Rings," the session will include UI physicist Don Gurnett,
Kronos artistic director David Harrington, composer Terry Riley, and visual
designer Willie Williams giving a presentation on their respective roles in
the Kronos Quartet's production of "Sun Rings," which will be a
unique multi-media collaboration between art and science.
Although the general public is familiar with the dramatic images of Jupiter,
Saturn and their moons captured by NASA spacecraft, relatively few people
are aware of the sounds that can be harvested from space. Don Gurnett, whose
radios and antennas collected the 40 years of space sounds that inspired "Sun
Rings," recalls a time when even he was surprised to learn about the
existence of the sounds of space.
"When we first launched a plasma wave receiver into Earth orbit in
1962 we were astonished to find that space was filled with such a rich variety
of fascinating sounds," he recalls in an article by writer Blake Likins.
The article notes that Riley, a renowned composer, gained a different perspective
on space from Gurnett and a renewed concern about mankind's future from the
attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Visual designer Williams was influenced by a combination
of Gurnett's sounds of space, Riley's composition, and visual images from
space. Williams, video director of the current Rolling Stones "Licks"
tour, has designed stadium and arena tours for U2, REM, David Bowie, Bryan
Adams and other rock and pop stars.
"Sun Rings" was co-commissioned by NASA and Hancher Auditorium,
and the work will tour internationally following the UI premiere. Gurnett,
a native Iowan and a UI alumnus, has conducted plasma physics experiments
on more than two dozen spacecraft, including the Voyager missions to the outer
planets, the Galileo mission to Jupiter and the Cassini mission to Mars. He
was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1998.
Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored
events. People requiring an accommodation in order to participate in this
program are asked to contact the department of physics and astronomy in advance