GLAST Prelude, for brass quintet, Op.12 Written in celebration of the launch and science of the Fermi Space Telescope ( Formally Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope GLAST )
Dedicated to Dr. Peter F. Michelson and Mr. Pierre R. Schwob
GLAST Prelude – and its coupling with video by the NASA-Goddard media team – received a surprising amount of attention (including over 150,000 views on YouTube) following its successful “premiere” on June 9, 2008 in Cocoa Beach, Florida, at a pre-launch reception co-sponsored by Stanford University and General Dynamics – the builders of the satellite. Eighteen months later, on November 2, during the 1-year International Fermi Symposium in Washington D.C., Nolan’s larger and more ambitious narrated symphony, Cosmic Reflection received its world premiere; as noted in News, this work is now on its way to becoming a full-blown professional DVD – to be recorded by the Baltimore Symphony, and with video by filmmaker Thomas Lucas.
The Fermi (formerly GLAST) mission to study the gamma-ray sky was successfully launched on June 11, 2008 from Cape Canaveral, and Nolan and his family were among the lucky ones to experience this breath-taking event. The Fermi mission is now successfully opening a new window to the Universe, observing the highest energy forms, and answering persistent questions on a broad range of topics, including super-massive black-hole systems, pulsars, the origin of cosmic rays, and searches for signals of new physics.
The GLAST Prelude music video has been featured at several places on the Internet, and as well as the subject of a dedicated Web feature on the NASA website, as well as on NASA TV. In addition, there are already several articles on the composition, including one in the prestigious Science magazine – download here. Given the success of the GLAST Prelude, Nolan thought it useful to provide those interested with more detail on its origins, its brilliant performance by the American Brass Quintet, the interaction of music and video in collaboration with NASA Goddard, the relationship between art and science, and the companion work, Cosmic Reflection. Also included are links to a few external websites that feature the work, photos of the launch, etc.
Pierre Schwob, Nolan, Dr. Steven Ritz (GLAST Project Scientist), Dr. Peter Michelson
(Principal Investigator, LAT instrument) at GLAST pre-launch party, Cocoa Beach, FL,
June 9, 2008, where GLAST Prelude music video was premiered.