Stephan Mathieu and Caro Mikalef at Sónar Barcelona

Created especially for the Cosmocaixa Planetarium, Constellations is an audiovisual project by Stephan Mathieu and Caro Mikalef inspired by the music of Antonio de Cabezón, one of the most important Renaissance composers of keyboard music, who was born 500 years ago this year. The roots of the project lie in Stephan Mathieus Virginals series, a set of works to be performed with historic media and early instruments using contemporary methods.

For Constellations, Mathieu and Mikalef will utilize electromagnets to set the strings of a harpsichord into continuous vibration. By expanding the natural sound of the instrument using magnetic fields, the resonating strings generate harmonically rich sonorities that gradually fill the planetarium space with overtonal patterns.

To frame the piece with a prelude and coda, the harpsichordist Carles Budó will perform special interpretations of original music by Antonio de Cabezón (who composed by applying theories of astronomy) on a second instrument, to create a surprising dialogue between the work of the Renaissance composer and Stephan Mathieu and Caro Mikalef’s take on sound.

Another protagonist of the performance is a slowly spinning, purpose built mobile, constructed with optical lenses, mirrors, acrylic and metal discs, which projects, illuminated by spotlights, a series of subtle “light forms” onto the planetarium dome. Spectral light, reflections and shadows will constantly reconfigure, alluding to the constellations that give the piece its name.

June 17. 18. + 19.2010 @ SONAR 2010
CosmoCaixa Science Park
C Isaac Newton, 26

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