An evening of masterful performances under the stars? Sounds like music to our ears!

On Saturday, December 3rd at 7 pm, audiences can gather beneath the cosmos for a concert, unlike anything they’ve seen before. The LOTUS Project will be performing Kile Smith’s ethereal “Consolation of Apollo” at the Planetarium at the New Jersey State Museum. Audiences can take a glimpse at the glory of the Apollo 8 mission and space discovery through choral music based on the actual transmissions of the astronauts.

Composer, Kile Smith, expands upon how the piece took form on his website:

“That 1968 Christmas Eve television broadcast famously (and in some quarters, infamously) included the recitation by the astronauts of the first ten verses of Genesis, “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth….” This text is mixed together with the prosaic chatter among the crew and Houston as they position the craft for what are now the iconic photos of Earth.

The distance and low-quality sound of the transmission was something I wished to approximate. I was unwilling to use percussion for this purpose mainly because of the length of the text, as percussion quickly tires the ears. After rejecting some vocal techniques, I decided to employ the sopranos in a halo of pre- and post-echoes of the lower three voices.”

This performance kicks off The LOTUS Project’s second season, Fields of Light. Before this performance, The LOTUS Project also recently participated in a collaborative run of Beethoven Symphony No. 9 with Music in The Somerset Hills, Westminster Community Chorus, and Capital Philharmonic of New Jersey.

Reflecting on the performance, Alicia Brozovich, Artistic Director for The LOTUS Project, stated “This is a project we have wanted to do since our founding in 2020. Some of our wonderful contemporaries, like Verdigris Ensemble, have successfully done similar events. This will be a wonderful experience for folks searching for a re-imagined concert experience. The listeners can immerse themselves in a visual night sky show as 20 singers lift their spirits to the stars.”

As collaboration and a commitment to Trenton’s historic venues are core tenants of The LOTUS Project’s values, the co-sponsorship of the New Jersey State Museum was a perfect pair. Margaret O’Reilly, The New Jersey State Museum’s Executive Director, was enthused at the prospect of the collaboration. “The New Jersey State Museum is proud to co-sponsor this event. The program presented a perfect opportunity for the Museum to work with a local community partner on a creative extension to our core Planetarium programming, and we’re excited to have the public experience it. As the Museum continues to add public programs to our events calendar we are especially interested in trying new things and connecting with new audiences.”

Echoing that sentiment, Alicia Brozovich noted “We couldn’t be more grateful to The New Jersey State Museum and Ms. O’Reilly’s team for their incredible support in making this event happen.”

If you’re interested in attending, tickets are free to reserve at thelotusprojectnj.org/workshop, and donate-what-you-can after submitting an RSVP (suggested donation of $25). Patrons can donate to The LOTUS Project via Venmo, PayPal Giving Fund, check, or cash at thelotusprojectnj.org/donate.

The LOTUS Project is a 501(c)(3) non-profit performance group in Trenton, NJ. Its mission is to craft immersive musical experiences that inspire wonder in audiences, allowing them to see the world through a renewed perspective. As The LOTUS Project continues to make its mark in the Trenton area, they ultimately hope to develop a summer arts festival with many of the other arts organizations in the Capital City.

See you under the stars!