A Galaxy of Suns

Michaela Gleave with Amanda Cole and Warren Armstrong

A Galaxy of Suns features a 36-part choir ‘singing’ the stars as they rise and set over the horizon.

A unique collaboration across contemporary music, art, astronomy, and design, it utilises smart device technology to create a work of art capable of operating on a galactic scale. A specifically created smart phone app uses GPS to deliver micro-tonal sonic cues to the 36 singers, allowing them to ‘sing’ the stars live, in real-time for their location.

Tracking the Earth’s motions through space, A Galaxy of Suns documents the audience’s precise position in relation to the stars, sonifying stellar data to create a sound and visual composition unique to their location in space and time. The app works with parameters such as location on the horizon, distance from Earth, star luminosity and chemical classification, and translates them into sonic and aesthetic variables including pitch, volume, duration, timbre, colour and light intensity. Whilst it creatively interprets science, A Galaxy of Suns is not an illustrative, literal or educational translation of data. Rather, it is a celebration of beauty and wonder at the ultimately inaccessible and intangible nature of stars.

A Galaxy of Suns is a project by visual artist Michaela Gleave, composer Amanda Cole, and app developer and digital artist Warren Armstrong, work with the advising astronomer is Dr Michael Fitzgerald

This performance is being presented as part of the exhibition The Score at the Ian Potter Museum of Art, the University of Melbourne, 1 August—5 November 2017.

Michaela Gleave
Amanda Cole
Warren Armstrong
Choir Leader
Gloria Gamboz
The Concord Ensemble
Costume Design
Katy B Plummer

Produced in association with Experimenta Media Arts and launched in association with Dark Mofo, Tasmania, and Bristol Bienniall, UK.

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body. A Galaxy of Suns is supported by the NSW Government through Arts NSW.