Look Up: Musical Inspiration From The Night Sky
Warm nights and clear skies are a perfect combination to see some of the night sky’s wonders, even if you don’t have a telescope. And what could be better than stargazing with a themed classical music soundtrack? So grab your blanket and head away from the city lights.
Did you see the bright red “star” in late July? It wasn’t a star at all, it was Mars, the red planet – nearly the closest it’s been to Earth in 60,000 years on July 30-31 (the only other time it was closer was in 2003). On July 27, the Sun’s reflection off Earth made Mars shine extra brightly. If you missed the close encounter, don’t worry: Mars will stay bright in the sky through early September. Look for Mars in the east in evening and in the west near dawn.
If you wish upon a shooting star, pick the nights of August 11 and 12. Those are peak nights for the Perseid Meteor Shower. It will also be a moon-free night, perfect for seeing those beautiful streaks across the sky. You might see as many as 50 an hour while the constellation Perseus the Hero is in the northeast sky, holding the head of Medusa. The story behind the constellation is also the inspiration for a 1682 opera by Jean-Baptiste Lully. (Lully too would have seen the meteors in August 1682, though he might have called them the “tears of Saint Lawrence.”)
No matter what time of year, as long as the sky is clear, there will always be something amazing to see in the night sky. Spanish composer Joaquin Rodrigo was blind, but he, too, knew our fascination with space and celestial bodies. He called this concert work A la busca del más allá, “In search of the beyond.”
Turn on your radio, pour a cup of tea, cozy up to a warm fire, and enjoy uplifting music, heartwarming stories and inspiring performances to celebrate the season.
Here’s a list of special programs coming your way throughout the month of December. Continue Reading Special Holiday Radio Programs on NWPB: December and New Year’s Day
Thanksgiving is a time of gratitude. For food, family, friends, and for the first stewards of this land we call America: Indigenous Tribes. This Thanksgiving and Native American Heritage Day, join NWPB for music and stories that reflect the meaning of tradition and gratitude. Continue Reading Special Holiday Radio Programs On NWPB: Thanksgiving and Native American Heritage Day 2023
This week, we are saying goodbye to longtime classical music host Gigi Yellen. For more than ten years, Gigi has delighted NWPB listeners with music and commentary, and contributed to many more projects and initiatives. You can read or listen to her work on the Music and Culture page. We wish Gigi a happy retirement, and all the best on her next chapter. Gigi sat down with Anjuli Dodhia to reflect on her career and her time at NWPB. Continue Reading Gigi Yellen Reflects On Her Time At NWPB