Musical Explorations of Messier Star Clusters and Nebulae
Composed between 2004 and 2011, Musical Explorations of the Messier Catalogue of Star Clusters and Nebulae is Bruce Lazarus’ series of fourteen piano pieces based on the work of Charles Messier (1730-1817), a French astronomer who compiled a list of approximately 110 diffuse objects in the night sky, objects which in Messier’s day were often confused with comets but now are recognized as familiar objects such as as the Andromeda Galaxy, The Pleiades, Orion Nebula, and the Globular Cluster in Hercules. Recent Hubble telescope photos of Messier Objects reveal vistas of extraordinary beauty and also great variation in energy patterning – spiraling, floating, exploding, diffusing – which strongly suggest musical variations in rhythm, texture, formal design, and melodic elements.
Performed solo by composer-pianist Bruce Lazarus, or as The Messier Project in collaboration with Mary Seidman & Dancers, the Messier pieces have been presented at venues including the World Science Fair, MIT Celebration of Science Festival, South Florida Science Festival/Carl Sagan Day, ArtsAdhimsa Music Festival, Gloucester Area Astronomy Club, Salon33 in Princeton, at the La Mama Theater Dance Lives! Festival, 2015 Governor’s Island Arts Festival, American Dance Guild at Citibank Theater, and the College of St. Elizabeth. The CD was released in 2013 and 2023, and the sheet music is published at Universal Editions.
Messier Music Samples, Videos, and Links