Skyspace: Elainie Lillios, Night Sky

Celebrate the 10th-anniversary of Turrell's work with a sonic journey

October 07 – 23, 2022
James Turrell "Twilight Epiphany" Skyspace at Rice University
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In celebration of the Skyspace's 10th anniversary, Elaine Lillios's sound and light composition, Night Sky will be presented every evening through October 23, after the sunset light sequence, from the structure's embedded sound and light system. The experience is free and open to the public, no reservations or tickets are required. Visitors can check here for sunset times in Houston. 

Lillios presents a meditative sonic journey in response to the iconic Turrell work situated on Rice's campus. "I was struck by the peacefulness of the Skyspace and how it provides an inclusive, contemplative haven for the greater Houston community," Lillois said. "The structure also communicates a vastness of space and the solidity of the earth and I wanted to reflect all of those elements in my piece." 

Following this line of inspiration, Lillois's composition also incorporates the poem Night Sky by Don Bogen. Through a narrative that juxtaposes the starry, ever-expanding universe with the author's fixed presence on earth, the poem offers a tender reflection on the loss of a loved one. Lillios integrates Bogen’s poem into her soundscape in a manner that reflects and enhances the text while simultaneously forming a connection between the twilight of life and the Twilight Epiphany Skyspace.

About the composer.  Acclaimed as one of the “contemporary masters of the medium” by MIT Press’s Computer Music Journal, Elainie Lillios creates works that reflect her fascination with listening, sound, space, time, immersion, and anecdote. As a composer, Lillios's work has been recognized internationally and nationally through awards, grants, and commissions, including a 2020 Johnston Foundation commission, 2018 Fromm Foundation Commission, 2016 Barlow Endowment Commission, and 2013 Fulbright Scholar Award. Her compositions include stereo, multi-channel, and Ambisonic fixed media works, instrument(s) with live electronics, collaborative experimental audio/visual animations, and installations. Lillios serves as Director of Composition Activities for SPLICE and as a professor of Creative Arts Excellence at Bowling Green State University in Ohio

Poet Don Bogen granted permission to use Night Sky. Kurt Stallmann and Chapman Welch provided creative and technical support. Katherine Pracht Phares and Steven Naylor narrated Bogen's Night Sky, and were recorded by audio engineer Michael Laurello. Night Sky by Elainie Lillios is supported by an Arts Initiative Grant from Rice University. 

This commission was made possible through a partnership with REMLABS and Rice University's Arts Initiative Fund.