light in the void concert ted talk science

I Want to Live Inside This Pro-Science, Female-Driven, Live Orchestra Concert Spectacular

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You might not recognize Austin Wintory and Anthony Lund’s names, but you’re likely familiar with their work. Wintory is a composer who has created the scores for a number of video games, including Flow and Journey. (The latter of which was the first video game to be nominated for a Best Score Grammy.) Lund has produced the science docuseries Through the Wormhole and Breakthrough. They’ve launched a Kickstarter for their new collaboration, and the project honestly sounds like a dream.

A Light in the Void is described as “a first-of-its-kind live concert experience meant to inspire and sustain a life-long love affair with science through the emotional power of music and storytelling.” Imagine a TED Talk-type setup with scientists talking to a live audience, only they’re supported by a live orchestra, with documentary and animation video projections.

Even better: all three of the scientists involved are women.

Described as “three genuine rockstars of modern science,” physicist Maria Spiropulu, anthropologist Alice Roberts, and planetary scientist Carolyn Porco will lead the audience through “the three biggest questions of existence”: Where did we come from? Who Are We? Where are we going?

Wintory and Lund want to topple the perception that science is boring, or only for stuffy, white, male academic types.

They write on their Kickstarter page that “the popular culture still thinks that science belongs to socially awkward, white male jargon-robots aloof of the human experience. The reality is the opposite: According to Pew, scientists and science lovers come from all walks of life and backgrounds. In fact, they are just as likely to be politically conservative as liberal! What could be more unifying? What could be more worth celebrating? SCIENCE IS FOR ALL OF US!”

“Our way of life – our very future – depends on a new generation of science acolytes and scientists, no matter who they are or where they come from, to bear the torch,” they write. “But where will we find them if the trend of disinterest continues?”

So cool! Thanks @realgdt!

A post shared by A Light In The Void (@litvconcert) on

The event is scheduled for October 5th in Denver, CO, but it will be streamed via Twitch so you can watch from anywhere. They’re also in talks to bring it to TV and movie theaters. They’ve already blown past their Kickstarter goal, but they’ve got some awesome stretch goals, including 4k video capture and free performances for students.

Wintory and Lund are clearly two guys who are really excited about science. And they’re using their experience with music and filmmaking to bring that excitement to the stage and evoke the same feelings in their audience–to get “everybody to feel what science feels like.” The video above shows they definitely know how to make that happen. Give it a watch and just try not to get excited. (Or don’t! Just let it happen.)

ETA: This article was edited to include the video above.

(image: screencap)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.