The Axolotl Ensemble will bring their extraordinary talents to Custer Observatory, creating an event filled with sonic richness and visual surprises. Artists, Cliff Baldwin and Rob Shepperson will perform works composed and designed specifically for this event, that reveal the unique sound of the Perseid meteors, icy asteroids and other such celestial visitors past and present using live electronics, amplified satellite dishes, percussion, live celestial video and other treats. The Perseids will be in full view during the show, weather permitting, and will be visible to the naked eye.
Following the concert, guests will have a chance to view the Perseid Meteor shower, visible to the naked eye. Observatory staff will also provide guided tours of the night sky (weather permitting) through the many telescopes on site, including the apochromatic Zerochromat telescope in our historic observation dome.
$30 Adult, $20 Observatory Member, Children Under 16 FREE. Attendance will be limited so advanced registration is strongly encouraged. Register at www.custerobservatory.org. A rain date for this program is scheduled for August 19 at 8:00pm.
Please bring a blanket or chair to enjoy this outdoor presentation.
About the Artists
Cliff Baldwin is a resident artist, composer, designer, and filmmaker on the North Fork and has been creating electronic music for over 45 years. He is the founder of the Aquebogue Contemporary Music Ensemble [ACME], a group devoted to contemporary electronic music, that was featured in the Rites of Spring Music Festival from 2016-2019 on the North Fork of Long Island.
Some of Cliff’s compositions include “The Kepler Music” performed at Custer Observatory in 2016, “ASTRI” and “LIGO-A-GOGO”, outdoor sound and video mixes which debuted at the Observatory in 2020, and “Voicing the Caldwells”, live 4-channel electroacoustic video piece which debuted at the Observatory in 2021. Cliff’s “Damn Epic Pandemic” live mixes streamed throughout 2020 from his studio garden. And he recently composed and debuted “BLACK LOCUST: Solo for Locust Tree and Electronics” at Guild Hall in East Hampton.
As an artist, Cliff founded the large format artist publication AQUI! in the early nineteen eighties working with artists like Barbara Kruger, Gilbert & George, Les Levine and General Idea. For 17 years he orchestrated large scale installations and created multiples with Fluxus artist Davi Det Hompson as the artist duo Baldwin+Hompson. His latest architectural project, SHAVILION was built in 2022 in Aquebogue.
Cliff’s work has been exhibited in Tokyo, Cologne, Berlin, Mexico City, Los Angeles, and New York, and is in several major museum collections around the world including collections at the The Museum of Modern Art, The Walker Art Center, The Museum of The Art Institute of Chicago, The National Gallery of Canada and The Museum of Rhode Island School of Design.
Drummer Rob Shepperson is a founding member, along with Mikel Rouse and Jeff Burk, of the pop group Tirez Tirez, which was active in the 1970s and 80s. When Rouse formed the new music ensemble Broken Consort, Rob contributed percussion and drum set parts. Currently, he is a member of the improv music group Strange Pools, based in Croton on Hudson, N.Y. Rob and Cliff Baldwin have been collaborating musically and visually ever since they met at the Kansas City Art Institute in 1978.
Baroque Virtuosity features three prominent musicians on period instruments: Kinga Augustyn on baroque violin, Rebecca Pechefsky on harpsichord, and Christopher Morrongiello on archlute, baroque guitar, and lute. The artists will perform a varied program of virtuosic music by European composers spanning close to 200 years, from the early Baroque period to the late Baroque or early Classic period. Their program features masterworks by J.S. Bach, Arcangelo Corelli, Antonio Soler, Jean Marie Leclair, and Diomedes Cato.
The renowned luthier Lukas Wronski, from Poland, will give a pre-concert talk on the history of string instrument making, with emphasis on the construction and geometry of the violin. In the concert, Kinga Augustyn will play on Mr. Wronski’s unconventionally shaped baroque violin named “Venus,” inspired by the famous ancient Greek statue the “Venus de Milo.”
Following the concert, Observatory staff will provide guided tours of the night sky (weather permitting) through the many telescopes on site, including the apochromatic Zerochromat telescope in our historic observation dome.
$35 Adult, $25 Observatory Member, Children Under 16 FREE. Attendance will be limited so advanced registration is strongly encouraged. Register at www.custerobservatory.org.
Please bring a blanket or chair to enjoy this outdoor presentation.
About the Artists
Polish-American Kinga Augustyn is a versatile New York City-based virtuoso concert violinist and recording artist. “Stylish and vibrant” (The Strad Magazine), and “beyond amazing, one hell of a violinist!” (The Fanfare Magazine), Ms. Augustyn has performed as a soloist with orchestras in the United States, Europe and Asia, and they include the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, Queens Symphony Orchestra, Catskill Symphony Orchestra, Deutsches Kammerorchester Berlin, Magdeburg Philharmonic Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra Leopoldinum, and the Wrocław Philharmonic Orchestra. She has toured China and performed at China’s most prestigious venues such as Beijing Poly Theater and Shanghai Oriental Art Center. As a recitalist and chamber musician Kinga has appeared at the Stern Auditorium and the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Aspen Music Festival, the Chicago Cultural Center, Teatro Ristori and Gran Teatro La Fenice. In addition to concerti with orchestras and recitals with piano, Ms. Augustyn frequently performs unaccompanied solo violin recitals and is also a member of the Baroque Virtuosity trio with lutenist Christopher Morrongiello and harpsichordist Rebecca Pechefsky.
Well known as a harpsichordist in the New York area, Rebecca Pechefsky has performed in such venues as Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall and the 18th-century Morris-Jumel Mansion, where she and Brooklyn Baroque have appeared in a yearly series. Recent European engagements include recitals in Milan (Sforza Castle), Bologna, Amsterdam, Berlin, Basel, Tallinn, London (Handel House), and Paris (Les Concerts dans les Copeaux). As part of the Krebs 300th birthday celebrations in Germany, she was invited to perform in Zwickau and Altenburg in 2013; in 2018 she took part in a Couperin 350th birthday marathon at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. Among her recordings for Quill Classics are the complete harpsichord music of François d’Agincour; Bach and His Circle; Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, Books 1 and 2; and Johann Ludwig Krebs @ 300. She has premiered works by Mark Janello, Graham Lynch, Frank J. Oteri, Johnny Reinhard, and others. Currently organist at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Glendale, Queens, She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, Erik Ryding, with whom she coauthored Bruno Walter: A World Elsewhere. For more information, visit rpechefsky.com.
Lutenist Christopher Morrongiello, a former British Marshall Scholar, is a graduate of the Mannes College of Music, Royal College of Music, and University of Oxford, where he earned a doctorate in musicology. As a recitalist, he has performed to critical acclaim throughout Europe and the United States. He was a prizewinner in the BBC Radio Two Young Musician of the Year Competition and a recipient of a Marco Fodella Foundation Scholarship for studies and research in Milan, Italy. In 2006 the Lute Society of America conferred upon him its first Patrick O’Brien LSA Seminar Lectureship. Dr. Morrongiello is a professor in music history at Hofstra University and directs the Hofstra Collegium Musicum. He is a frequent guest artist of many leading early music groups and is often invited to teach, lecture, and perform at international music festivals and workshops. Morrongiello has recorded for EMI, Avie Records, Gamut Music, the Lute Society of America, Visionaire, and the BBC. The Metropolitan Museum of Art produced several beautiful music videos online of his playing on a gut-strung, sixteenth-century lute, as well as on copies of lutes, in its renowned musical instrument collection.
Lukas Wronski, owner of Lukas Violins in NYC, is a master luthier specializing in violin making, custom violins, tonal sound adjustments, expert restorations, repairs, appraisals, expertise, sales and complete servicing of fine and rare stringed instruments and bows. Instruments made by Lukas have received many awards and been appreciated by many great musicians. Lukas has participated in a variety of international violin making competitions and exhibitions in Europe, Asia, and the United States in Poznan, Paris, Cremona, Moscow, New York, Baltimore, Portland, and Shanghai. In addition, he is an avid painter and has taken part in numerous art exhibitions in Europe and the US. In 2019 he was invited to judge the first “China Campus Violin-and Bow-making Competition.”
As summer winds down and Autumn approaches, a new host of celestial wonders graces the night sky. Staring up at the star-filled sky is awesome and humbling. It can also be overwhelming and disorienting. Throughout history, the night sky has served many functions to humanity- a clock, a calendar, a compass, a map and even a story book. Join stargazing lecturer Randall DiGiuseppe of the Custer Institute & Observatory for an evening of learning the basics of navigating the night sky as well as learning the locations and the folklore behind the most prominent constellations of the Fall.
Learn how to spot the North Star, the Andromeda Galaxy, the Milky Way Galaxy, and the stories behind Autumn’s most popular constellations. You will learn your way around the night sky and how to use it to orient yourself from almost anywhere on Earth.
This event is being held outdoors and is open to everyone. Just bring an inquisitive mind, a blanket or chair and your imagination.
Randall DiGiuseppe is a professional artist, lecturer, telescope builder and amateur astronomer for over four decades. He is a lifetime member of the Custer Institute and Observatory and recipient of the Astronomical League’s Messier Award. He conducts lectures on the dynamics, history and art of the night sky throughout the country.
Following the presentation, Observatory staff will provide guided tours of the night sky (weather permitting) through the many telescopes on site, including the apochromatic Zerochromat telescope in our historic observation dome.
$5 Adult, $3 Children Under 16, Observatory Members FREE. Your donations make it possible to offer programs like these and are greatly appreciated. Due to limited space, registration is strongly encouraged. Register at www.custerobservatory.org.
A rain date for this outdoor program is scheduled for October 21 at 8:00pm. Please bring a blanket or chair to enjoy the presentation.
ON-GOING: Custer Observatory is open to the public for stargazing every Saturday from 8pm until midnight. Staff provide guided tours of the night sky through powerful telescopes (weather permitting). Suggested donation: $5 Adults, $3 Children under 12.
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