A MATTER OF ENLIGHTENMENT
A collaboration with
European Space Agency
A project evolved as a concept for a movie and intermedia performance event, in celebration of European Space Agency's "Euclid" Space Mission which launches in 2023, on a quest to discover the dark universe.
The Euclid mission takes its name from the ancient 300 B.C. Greek mathematician and father of Geometry - Euclid. ESA Project Scientist René Laureijs is heading a team that is attempting to define the geometry of space, in a search for the mysterious 'dark matter and dark energy', estimated to constitute 95% of the universe.
An association began with Euclid's Project Manager, Giuseppe Racca, involving a series of pieces that Richard composed, called THE BEAUTY OF SCIENCE.
Originally intended as a concert set for voices and strings, the work was based on extracts of the original Latin text from Sir Isaac Newton's book of scientific law - 'Principia’, which was published by the Royal Society in 1687.
'Principia' is one of the most important science books ever written. It laid down the foundation of classical mechanics, observations of the very workings of the universe, the movement of the planets around the sun, and the means by which the moon revolving around the earth causes the tides to ebb and flow.
Newton's work marked the epoch of a groundbreaking revolution in science.
Sung in Latin, THE BEAUTY OF SCIENCE explored the ethereal beauty and exquisite workings of nature, each piece based on one of Newton's principles. For example ‘Axiomata’ depicts the laws of motion, 'Regulæ Philosophandi', the rules of nature, and 'Phænomenon', observations of terrestrial bodies.
Science is considered by many to be undergoing the second Age of Enlightenment.
In early 2020, work began filming the construction of Euclid's stunning Korsch space telescope at Airbus in Toulouse, before the optical mechanism was housed inside the space vehicle. During the period of Covid lockdowns that ensued, Benedict made many sorties to film Euclid's ongoing testing and construction. Filming of Ariane 6 rocket launches start summer 2022 at ESA's launch site in French Guiana TBC due to cancellation of ESA relationship with Russia's Soyuz project post-Ukraine.
In response to our project, long-time Brazilian physicist and scientific illustrator Lucas Vieira, (currently undertaking a PhD in Quantum Foundations at IQOQI in Vienna) came on board as a scientific and creative consultant.
Possibilities for a new approach to the use of music, which is still based on the original set of pieces, no longer adhere to the limitations of a traditionally notated acoustic piece ... adopts the notion of 'music for a new period of enlightenment.
The Euclid celebrations will culminate in special live performance events, extending the movie visually and aurally to a visceral 360 ̊ multi-media presentation with the score being performed by live musicians and singers.
The Euclid mission is currently scheduled to launch in early 2023 ... a billion-dollar project to put one of the best telescopes ever built, into a million-mile Lissajous earth orbit ... a dance that will trip the light fantastic around the sun, the moon, and the earth.
In 2021 Alberto Gianolio (ex - ESA Space Mission Project Manager) joined the team to act as Project Manager for the creative production.
The working title is A MATTER OF ENLIGHTENMENT.
A short trailer of extracts from the original set-piece 'The Beauty of Science' >
Richard has also initiated a series of short diary films which he shot on his phone accompanied by music sketches, which follow the progress of the Euclid project. Theses first extracts were shot earlier in 2020, whilst shooting on location at ESA's Airbus base in Toulouse. Click here: