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Kenji Williams Brings ‘Bella Gaia’ Back to Vanderbilt Planetarium

See a Vision of Earth through the Eyes of Astronauts


The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium will offer the rare opportunity to see the Earth as astronauts see it when Kenji Williams presents “Bella Gaia” (Beautiful Earth) on Saturday, June 18, at 8:00 and 9:30 p.m.

Bella Gaia” drew sold-out Vanderbilt audiences last summer.

Williams, an award-winning director and classically-trained violinist, has created an evening of superb music and breathtaking imagery in collaboration with NASA. Williams and his orchestra, playing eclectic instruments from all over the world, will perform original music live against a large-screen backdrop of orbiting visualizations of Earth from space. “Bella Gaia” successfully simulates space flight and presents a “Living Atlas” multi-media experience of our world that expresses the deeply moving beauty of planet Earth.

From fires in the Amazon basin to time-lapse images of the melting Arctic ice, the spectacular orbital imagery provides an exquisite simulation of the astronaut’s view from space. Multi-cultural experiences include earthbound journeys from Japanese temples to Egyptian pyramids. A highlight is video from the Laya Project, created to preserve regional folk-music traditions from Sri Lanka, Thailand, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar and India — the nations affected by the Asian tsunami of December 26, 2004.

Following the performance of “Bella Gaia,” the planetarium observatory will be open (weather permitting) for live telescope observations of many summer-sky objects — including galaxies, nebulas and clusters — through the Vanderbilt’s 16-inch, Cassegrain reflecting telescope.

Refreshments, including wine and cheese, will be available for purchase.

Tickets are $20 for museum members, $25 for non-members and $30 at the door. For reservations and more information, please call 631-854-5579 or visit www.vanderbiltmuseum.org. More details are available at www.bellagaia.com.

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