Organist Jenny Vincent and CBC’s Quirks and Quarks radio host and science journalist Bob McDonald present an afternoon of music and space talk, bringing the audience through a sonorous cosmic odyssey on April 28 at 7 p.m. at First Metropolitan United Church, 932 Balmoral Rd., Victoria. (Black Press file)

Space and music collide in Cosmic Odyssey

CBC’s Quirks and Quarks radio host appears with organist April 28 in Victoria

The meld of music and science is set to propel the audience to space at the First Metropolitan United Church later this month.

The evening blasts off with organist Jenny Vincent performing music such as 2001, A Space Odyssey, alongside visuals of a rocket-launch and a running commentary by CBC’s Quirks and Quarks radio host and science journalist Bob McDonald.

“The slideshow we have with it is really interesting because it’s about the expanding universe,” Vincent said. “It’s interesting, with a nice variety of music interspersed with Bob talking. He just ties it right into what I’m playing.”

McDonald aims for “awe inspiring” then segues to Vincent’s inspired organ pieces correlated to his talking notes. For example he’ll talk of Jupiter, the largest of the planets, so big 1,000 Earths could fit, but the whole thing is made of gas.

“It’s violent and has storms the size of Earth… lightening bolts the size of Asia,” McDonald said, already enthused about sharing the knowledge. “It’s a raging plant that is almost a star.”

Then Vincent, artistic director for organWORX, pipes in with a Gustav Holst piece titled for the planet.

“It captures the essence of Jupiter,” McDonald said.

The pair moves through planets with his unscripted words.

“It’s just my own awe. Being a science journalist for as long I have and witnessing the exploration of space as long as I have I get gobsmacked by it. So I just try to give my impression of it. I feel like I’ve been to Jupiter and been to Mars,” he said.

Vincent initiated the idea with McDonald in a bid to reinvigorate organ music among the masses. Along the way, she’s learned a bit about the music as well.

“I’m always looking for new ideas. I’m not the organist who sticks to certain music,” she said. This project spurred her to discover new composers such as Bruce Lazarus whose Orion Nebula or Richard Felciano and his God of the Expanding Universe. Both appear in the program.

The Victoria show is a tweaked performance after a successful show in Parksville recently.

“People said it was almost a spiritual experience because they felt they were taken out into the cosmos,” McDonald said. “We found the first time everything was really big and heavy, because the universe is big and heavy. We changed a bit to shorten some pieces and lighten up the mood.”

It also achieved Vincent’s goal shifting organ music back into the mainstream.

“This way it’s an easy way to bring it across to (an audience). It was interesting after the concert, I thought they’d be talking all about Bob and so many were talking about how they didn’t know the organ could do all this,” Vincent said.

McDonald loves to share the wonder of science beyond formulas and mathematics.

“Whenever art and science come together it can be beautiful. I’ve always been a big fan of that,” McDonald said.

The pair is already planning next year’s feature concert, exploring the elements earth, water, air and fire.

Vincent and McDonald present Cosmic Odyssey on April 28 at 7 p.m. at First Metropolitan United Church, 932 Balmoral Rd., Victoria.

Tickets are $35 available at Munro’s Books, Ivy’s Bookshop, Tanner’s Books, organworx.ca and the McPherson box office, rmts.bc.ca and 250-386-6121.


 

cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Canada’s country music sweetheart brings The Gumboot Kids to town

Jessie Farrell to perform songs from her hit CBC TV series at McTavish Academy of Arts

VIFF wrap-up: Finely crafted films part of festival finale

Monday reviewer Kyle Wells puts a cap on his 2018 Vancouver International Film Festival experience

FILM REVIEWS: Race relations, refugees and racy romances featured at VIFF

Monday reviewer Kyle Wells presents round 2 from the Vancouver International Film Fest

An eye for art: The new and the notable at fall’s premier arts event

Sidney Fine Art Show shares wealth of Island talent Oct. 11 to 13

Astrocolor bringing unique funk-synth sound to the Capital Ballroom

Victoria band known for their festival shows making a rare appearance on their home turf

VIDEO: Ballet Kelowna brings steamy story, A Streetcar Named Desire, to Island

Okanagan ballet company brings a classic tale to the Cowichan Valley

INDY FILM FARE: 1970s hedonism and more at The Vic Theatre

From Studio 54 to Rocky Horror, there’s plenty of excess to observe this month

Shark-attack metal band coming to Victoria tonight

Shark Infested Daughters, a Calgary metalcore group, play the Upstairs Cabaret tonight, Oct. 13

STAGE AND SONG: Spotlight on Victoria arts groups

Learn about some of the city’s favourite theatre and musical entertainment options

Island lensman Jim Decker lands three top photography awards

During exciting photo trip to Yap in Micronesia, Cobble Hill man earns trio of firsts

Celebrate Oktoberfest Stein and Dine at the Victoria Public Market

Food, suds and German-style fun on tap at Oct. 20 event

Most Read