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

Victoria brewery re-brands again after cryptic new logo failed

Vancouver Island Brewing said goodbye to its confusing hexagon logo

Peninsula Singers use music to dispel ‘Grinch’ factor this Christmas

‘Tis the Season is at the Mary Winspear Centre Dec. 7 to 9

West Shore pays silent tribute to distant and recent losses during Remembrance Day ceremony

Premier John Horgan pays special tribute to Cst. Sarah Beckett

Victoria honours Remembrance Day at legislature, Afghanistan memorial

Organizer planned new ceremony at Quadra and Courtney after noting people came to pay respects at site last year

Trudeau warns of dangers of nationalist leaders at historic armistice gathering

U.S. President Donald Trump in recent weeks described himself as a nationalist

Vancouver Island remembers

Important stories shared as Islanders salute those who made the greatest sacrifice

Funding announcement promises to drive business innovation in B.C.

Minister is scheduled to make the announcement at the Penticton campus of Okanagan College

Vancouver Island mom warns of candy-luring incident

A Courtenay mother is speaking out after a man was reported to… Continue reading

Ticats destroy Lions 48-8 in CFL East Division semifinal

Wally Buono’s last game as B.C. coach ends in disappointment

Olympic decision time for Calgarians in 2026 plebiscite

Calgary’s ‘88 legacy is considered among the most successful in Olympic Games history

Canadians mark Remembrance Day, 100 years since end of First World War

The sombre crowd stood in near-silence as it reflected on the battles that ended a century ago, and those that have come since

B.C. VIEWS: Seniors home worker discrimination finally ending

Health Minister Adrian Dix righting a serious wrong

Northern California fire officials begin agonizing search for dead

The death toll had hit 23 as of Saturday night

Most Read