Bay Chamber Concerts commissioned a piece in advance of the 30th anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope (H/T The Atlantic). Called Hubble Cantata, it is currently in two forms – a 22 minute version which can be heard online at the composer’s website (and is available for download), and a multimedia version that has been performed in public by soprano Jessica Rivera and the International Contemporary Ensemble. The goal is to develop a full cantata for two voices and instruments, which would include the same kinds of multimedia interludes focused on the Hubble Telescope and what it’s been able to see. The video below is from the July 2013 premiere of the piece.
Besides composer Paola Prestini, Royce Vavrek, Carmen Kordas and astrophysicist (and science writer) Mario Livio have contributed to the cantata. Livio was engaged with the project based on his writings, and with his help the other artists were able to connect the story of a young woman with images from the Hubble that followed the life and death of a star. This remains a work in progress, as a November performance incorporated a new choir. There may well be chances to see further iterations of the work between now and the 30th anniversary of Hubble in 2015.