Adler astronomer, Moser adjunct prepares for next trip to
June 2, 2008
Phil Brozynski, Media Relations Manager
Jose Francisco Salgado is one of those rare individuals who is able to combine all of his interests in his work.
An astronomer, graphic designer and educator who was born in San Juan and educated at the University of Michigan, Salgado is a member of the Adler Planetarium’s Astronomy Department and an adjunct professor of astronomy at Benedictine University’s Moser College of Adult and Professional Studies.
This summer, he is busy preparing for the next presentation of his breathtaking video suite, “The Planets,” set for Friday, August 22 at 7:30 p.m. at the Jay Pritzker Pavillion in Millenium Park. The concert is free and open to the public.
“The Planets” is a sight and sound spectacle set to the music of Gustav Holst’s orchestral masterpiece of the same name. Salgado creates the sensation of being led through an art gallery and admiring various pictures of the cosmos. As the camera moves toward the works of art, the audience finds itself “falling” through pictures and into the universe, flying past Earth, planets, black holes, stars and other galaxies.
Unlike Holst’s musical score, Salgado’s video suite has more to do with the physical makeup of the solar system than its backstory.
“‘The Planets’ orchestral suite is more about the astrology and the mythology behind the planets and their names,” Salgado said.
The August 22 presentation of “The Planets” will feature Chicago Sinfonietta, one of Chicago’s most recognized orchestras that has performed with an incredible cross-section of artists from Poi Dog Pondering to violinist Rachel Barton. Chicago Sinfonietta performs in Chicago’s renowned Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center and its musicians represent the city’s rich cultural landscape.
“The Planets” is a seven-movement orchestral suite first performed during World War I. The elaborate score of “The Planets” produces unusual, complex sounds by using some unique instruments and multiples of instruments such as oboes, bassoons, piccolos, harps, bass oboe, timpani, glockenspiel, celesta, xylophone, tubular bells and organ.
Holst had been influenced by Igor Stravinsky, who used four oboes and four bassoons in his “Rite of Spring (1912-1913),” and by Arnold Schoenberg’s 1909 composition “Five Pieces for Orchestra.”
Salgado is already working on his third production that will combine music, graphics and images from outer space not available when he first produced “The Planets.” The work is being produced by his graphics arts company, Vectors & Pixels Unlimited.
“Hopefully, it will be ready for 2009,” he said.
Speaking of planets, where does Salgado weigh in on the Pluto controversy?
“I don’t have to worry,” he said. “Pluto had not even been discovered when Holst wrote ‘The Planets.’ So now, it’s a moot point.”
Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 56 undergraduate majors, 16 graduate and four doctorate programs. The Chronicle of Higher Education
recently ranked Benedictine University as the seventh fastest-growing campus among private nonprofit master’s universities, and Forbes
magazine named Benedictine among the top 20 percent of America’s colleges for 2011. Benedictine University’s Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain’s Chicago Business
as the fourth largest in the Chicago area in 2011.