Tafelmusik: The Galileo Project’s Australian additions
Tafelmusik’s Galileo Project is an impressive show in and of itself. Even more impressive is creator Alison Mackay’s commitment to customising the show depending on where it is being performed. For their Asian tour in 2010 Tafelmusik worked with pipa player Wen Zhao and performed the show in both English and Mandarin.
For this Australian tour Alison has consulted Ray Norris, astrophysicist at CSIRO Australia Telescope National Facility, and Director of the Aboriginal Astronomy Project at Macquarie University in Sydney, and selected a reading from his book Emu Dreaming, written with Cilla Norris. The book is an introduction to Aboriginal astronomy exploring mystical astronomical stories and their practical applications in navigation, harvesting and more. The section recounted in performance describes an Aboriginal “Morning Star” ceremony which reveals a centuries-old understanding of the motion of the planet Venus.
Tafelmusik have also incorporated images of the Southern sky into the projections to be used for this tour. Nevertheless, the ensemble insists they will be doing a little star-gazing of their own while in Australia to familiarise themselves with constellations unseen from the Northern hemisphere.