THE AMBITIOUS multimedia collaboration between Frans Lanting and Philip Glass, Life, that premiered at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in 2006, is finally returning to the Bay Area after stops in New York, London, Italy, Mexico and elsewhere. Glass’ score will be performed Saturday at the Flint Center in Cupertino by Symphony Silicon Valley under the direction of conductor Carolyn Kuan for a concert produced by UC–Santa Cruz titled “Evolutionary/Revolutionary.”
“We hope it helps people to reflect on the amazing journey that life has been on planet Earth since it sprouted 4 billion years ago,” Lanting says, “and how important science is in helping us understand what we’re all part of.” Fans of the Dutch-born photographer, who is best known for wildlife images appearing in the pages of National Geographic, Audubon and Life might be surprised by the images in “Life.” While there is “nature porn” among them, several veer in a much more conceptual direction. “‘Life,'” Lanting says, “uses photography as stepping stones to lure people on an imaginary journey from the Big Bang to the present.”
Prior to the performance, UC–Santa Cruz professors Sandra Faber of the astronomy and astrophysics department, David Haussler of the Center for Biomolecular Science and Engineering and Richard Green of the biomolecular engineering department will be joined in a conversation by NPR Science Correspondent Joe Palca about the origins of life and the future of research at the university.
Lanting, who conceived of the project in 1999 while photographing horseshoe crabs, which have remained unchanged for millions of years, sees a natural affinity between the panel’s discussion and his piece. “I think the images help to amplify the achievements of science—they can stand on their own, and so can the music—but when you bring the three together it is really a wondrous and rapturous experience,” he says.
Saturday, 7pm; $55 and up