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Music of Reality Presents: Beautiful Questions
Arts at the Armory
Somerville, MA
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Music of Reality Presents: Beautiful Questions
On Wednesday, April 26, Music of Reality presents a multidisciplinary event that will explore the beautiful questions in cosmology through music and lecture, as well as celebrate the release of their debut EP Beauty from Nothing.

Cosmologist Dr. Cora Dvorkin of Harvard will present talks that explore these big, open questions: studying the cosmic microwave background to uncover the physics of inflation, dark matter, and primordial gravitational waves.  The talks will be interwoven with performances by acoustic and electronic musicians - each inspired by different questions and exploring different implications for our place in the universe.

Preceding the event, there will be a pre-concert discussion on the intersections of the arts and sciences with Dr. Dvorkin and Robert Kirzinger of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.  All are welcome to attend and there will be a brief Q&A session following the discussion.

Performances by pianist Sophia Subbayya Vastek, new music duo Transient Canvas,
electronic musician David Ibbett, and DJ collective Table Manners

Music by David Ibbett, Mischa Salkind-Pearl, Steven Snowden, and Johannes Maria Staud, and including commissioned miniatures by Robert Honstein, Mary Kouyoumdjian, Jason Charney, Mischa Salkind-Pearl,
and Stefanie Lubkowski


CORA DVORKIN's research focuses on "data-driven" cosmology: predictions from fundamental physics which can be tested with cosmological data. Her research interests span questions related to inflation, dark matter, dark energy, and neutrinos. To assess these questions, she uses data from the Cosmic Microwave Background and the large-scale structure of the universe.

Professor Dvorkin, born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, received her Diploma in Physics from the University of Buenos Aires. She earned her Ph.D. in the Department of Physics at the University of Chicago in 2011 and has conducted postdoctoral research at the School of Natural Sciences at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and at the Institute for Theory and Computation at the Center for Astrophysics at Harvard University.

She is currently an Assistant Professor of Physics at Harvard University.


ROBERT KIRZINGER is a composer and writer with degrees in composition from Carnegie Mellon University and the New England Conservatory. A Boston resident since 1989, in 1998 he joined the staff of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, where he is an editor and annotator for the program book and a pre-concert speaker. In addition to the BSO and Tanglewood, he has written program notes for the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and numerous other ensembles. His CD booklet notes for the Deutsche Grammophon, Naxos, BMOP Sound, New World Records, Albany, and other labels have ranged from Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven to such composers as Charles Wuorinen, Lukas Foss, Donald Martino, Michael Gandolfi, Lisa Bielawa, Ken Ueno, Julia Werntz, and John Mallia. For ten years he was a reviewer and features contributor to Fanfare Magazine. As a composer, Robert Kirzingers music has been performed by the Prana Duo and under the aegis of such organizations as the Boston Microtonal Society, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project Club Café concerts, Auros, and the Boston Avant Garde Society, among others. As a member of the industrial music collaboration PChildren in the late 1980s and early 90s, he worked with visual and sound artist Michael Parker in multimedia performances and recording projects. His advocacy for new music includes organization of concerts and other events in the Boston area, and he is a member of the Board of Advisors of the Radius Ensemble.


Pianist SOPHIA SUBBAYYA VASTEK lives in the intersections  struggling to know her different cultural backgrounds, reveling in the questions, embracing the space between music now and before, and living squarely in the crosshairs of her wildest and most intimate emotional selves.  She is committed to the never-ending exploration of the role of music as a force for good, and how art and collaborations can shine a light on the common ground between disparate fields and ways of thinking.

Performing has taken Sophia to South Africa, Mexico, the Kennedy Center, the United States State Department, the Canadian Embassy (DC), Polish Cultural Institute (DC), The Apollo Theatre, Tenri Cultural Institute, and DiMenna Center, among many others.  She has also been presented at festivals such as The NoiseGate Festival, Queens New Music Festival, Artscape, and Arts Letters & Numbers.

Sophias debut solo album is due out on May 26, 2017 on innova Recordings with music by Michael Harrison, Donnacha Dennehy, and John Cage, produced by multiple Grammy-winning engineer Adam Abeshouse.

With composer David Ibbett, Sophia is a co-founder of Music of Reality, a multi-disciplinary concert series that connects the world of scientific discovery and research with musicians and artists.  Sophia is also one half of Tilted Arc, an electroacoustic duo with electronic sound artist and multi-instrumentalist Sam Torres.

Sophia received a Bachelor of Music from Indiana University, Bloomington where she studied with Emile Naoumoff, the last pupil of Nadia Boulanger, and a Master of Music from Manhattan School of Music.


DAVID IBBETT is a British composer based in Boston. His music explores a fascinating conflux between the worlds of the classical, contemporary, acoustic and the electronic. By working to fuse key elements from a host of contrasting styles, David aspires to create art music that is rich, direct and dramatically deep.

Projects span from chamber music (Albion Trails, 2009, BBCSO Octet for BBC Radio 3) to inter-arts collaborations (Project 51, contemporary dance score for The Place Resolutions, 2012) and works for instruments and electronics. Davids research focuses on sampling techniques as an integrative force in electroacoustic compositions. Recent works include Islands (2014) for cellist Gregor Riddell with BEAST (Birmingham Electroacoustic Sound Theatre), Branches (2015) for the Transient Canvas ensemble & Music of Reality (2016), a series of pieces for instruments and electronics in collaboration with pianist Sophia Subbayya Vastek.



Arts at the Armory (View)
191 Highland Ave
Somerville, MA 02143
United States

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Arts > Performance
Music > All Ages
Music > Classical
Music > Experimental

Kid Friendly: Yes!
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


Owner: Sophia Vastek
On BPT Since: Oct 02, 2016
Sophia Vastek

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