“Our Passage to the Stars” Piano and Visual Recital

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“Our Passage to the Stars” Piano and Visual Recital

February 4 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm


A collaboration between NC State Music Department, College of Design, CHASS and Dance Program
LOCATION: Stewart Theatre

DATE:  February 4, 2018

TIME: 4 pm

$10, $8 seniors, $5 NCSU students
Free children under 12
Ticket Central: 919-515-110

Purchase tickets ONLINE

Free parking on campus

We have looked to the stars and dreamt, and our dreams have captivated us to brave our inventions and the perilous passage, allowing us to know the world better. As humans, we will experience the knowledge of this universe with our emotions and relative to our spiritual beliefs, superstitions, and symbols that we hold dear—all of which will become part of our interaction with the cosmos. Experiencing inimitable emotions is the inciting force that compels us to explore and imagine new realities, in turn revealing humanity as needing to be eternally emotional.

Coursing through Our Passage to the Stars, Olga Kleiankina and colleagues chart a path that seizes one away from the everyday candied auditory and visual experience and convey the emotions of an imaginary human journey to the stars. The program highlights two commissioned piano pieces that were specifically composed for this project, expressing the sound of the universe. Additional pieces for this program include composed pieces that are inspired by our planets and constellations, pieces that describe our ambitions as humans to break through in our understanding of the universe, and pieces that reveal humanity as eternally emotional. The aim of the program is to have a conversation with the universe by presenting the totality of these musical pieces with an accompanying real-time AI generated reactive visual performance.

Dr. Olga Kleiankina: When I prepare my [piano] recital programs, I always think of a theme that allows me and my listeners to feel an experience and raise questions about our existence, our role, our desires and achievements. The exploration of the Universe is one of those incredibly complex topics. There are so many aspects of our humanity that interlace with our attempts of understanding it…My goal for the event is for the audience to experience an emotional journey in which all the pieces are linked, and for them to be emboldened to understand a greater and complex emotional message about our existence.

Prof. Emil Polyak: I was invited by Dr. Kleiankina to this project, to design an abstract, animated visual narrative for the pieces. Inspired by the profound mystery of Space, I wanted to play with familiar shapes and forms in an unfamiliar composition. Using a poetic visual language, the animations are open-ended and computed in real-time by the acoustic waves produced by the piano and performed by Olga.

Dr. Rodney Waschka: [The piece] Considering Jupiter was composed for pianist Olga Kleiankina with her tremendously helpful collaboration. Her willingness to explore non-traditional ways of making music… inspired different parts of the work. In addition, the piece was made to include the real-time video work of Prof. Emil Polyak…Dr. Kleiankina suggested the idea of a piece related to space or astronomy. As I was processing that proposal, Prof. Polyak suggested thinking about Jupiter because of the July 4, 2016 arrival of the NASA probe Juno in the Jovian system. Currently, the probe is scheduled to stay in orbit around Jupiter until the summer of 2018. So, I settled on that idea. I found many of the photos posted by NASA taken with “JunoCam” fascinating and helpful as I worked.

Dr. Peter Askim: Olga Kleiankina’s playing juxtaposes great delicacy, infinite colors and ferocious passion. When she asked me to compose something for her, I was thrilled. I wanted to create music that explored her enormous emotional range and her ability to express the complexity of human experience, in all its contradictions. And what better way to express these extremes than to evoke the wonder of the universe?


February 4
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Categories:


College of Design


Stewart Theater
2610 Cates Ave
Raleigh, NC 27695
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