Last night the city of Pasadena held part of its AxS (“axis”) festival at the Carnegie Observatories. AxS is a 2-week city-wide festival produced by the Pasadena Arts Council, exploring the nexus of artistic and scientific inquiry and promoting cross-fertilization between these disciplines.
The theme of the 2014 Festival is “Curiosity” – the interplay between human curiosity, scientific investigation and artistic endeavor that also illuminates the diversity and innovation of human achievement in the 21st century.
This was the first-ever partnership between the Carnegie Observatories and the Pasadena Conservatory of Music.
The evening opened with Carnegie scientists Juna Kollmeier and Andrew Benson discussing the 100-year+ history of Pasadena as an internationally renowned center for major discoveries in astronomy — beginning with George Ellery Hale, whose role in founding the Observatories and building the world’s then-largest telescopes vastly increased our understanding of the universe.
Kollmeier and Benson also highlighted recent achievements at the Observatories, including the latest developments with the Giant Magellan Telescope now being assembled by the Carnegie-led international consortium.
Then the music began with the world premiere of Hand in Hand at the Edge of the Sky, a new piece for chamber music ensemble by composer and Pasadena Conservatory of Music faculty member Matthew Brown. Inspired by a recent visit to Mt. Wilson, this new work, like that of the Observatories, will be further evidence of the wide-ranging creativity that is a hallmark of Pasadena.
It was a wonderful evening, except perhaps for the dog next door that occasionally did not like a few notes and started barking. Two other members of the Riverside Astronomical Society, Diane and Sandy, also attended the event. I do hope this is the start of a new tradition.
– Ex astris, scientia –
I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine. As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +