Starmus Sonic Universe Concert blows minds

Posted by David Eicher
on Thursday, July 7, 2016

Bono and The Edge sing a welcome song to the Starmus attendees via video, Sonic Universe Concert, Starmus, Tenerife, Canary Islands, July 1, 2016. // Credit: David J. Eicher
Maybe you read some of the first few blogs I wrote about the Starmus Festival last week. Truth be told, after the first three days, things became so incredibly busy I didn’t have any time at all to process photos or write posts. So I will begin to conclude the Starmus story here.

On Friday, July 1, we all prepared for the Sonic Universe Concert, which was held at the Auditorio de Tenerife Adán Martín, a beautiful facility practically on the oceanfront in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

This year‘s program was simply mind-blowing. We had Sarah Brightman delivering an orchestral concert that stunned the audience, with soaring notes that had to be heard to be believed. Her closer, “Time to Say Goodbye,” was a particular favorite of the crowd.

A ceremony then followed to award the first medals of the Stephen Hawking Prize for Science Communication. They went to composer Hans Zimmer, physicist Jim Al-Khalili, and the producers of the film Particle Fever. As an additional surprise, organizers announced that Garik Israelian has been given an asteroid!

Then the rock group Anathema played a set, closing with the famous Queen song “Who Wants to Live Forever.” It was a rousing moment for Starmus.

And that wasn’t all. We had a welcome via video from Bono and The Edge, who wished the Starmus attendees welcome, and another video show from Peter Gabriel and Sting, who were on tour but treated the crowd to a rendition of “Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star.”

And it just kept going and going. Astronaut Chris Hadfield strolled out and was accompanied by the great keyboardist Rick Wakeman on a two-song tribute to David Bowie that included the iconic “Space Oddity” and “Starman.”And Rick Wakeman himself hammered out an amazing version on piano of “Life on Mars.”

The show went on. The incredible Hans Zimmer led a tribute to Stephen Hawking with music built around the theme of black holes, and accompanied by amazing video. That was explained by none other than Kip Thorne.

And then Brian May trotted out to add some blistering guitar soloing to the whole process.

It was an incredible night that none of us who were there will ever forget.

For all images from the trip, visit the Online Reader Gallery.

For related blogs see:
   Starmus starts with a bang in Tenerife!

   A spectacular second day at Starmus

   Third day at Starmus brings historic moments

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