NASA Creates a Visualization That Sets Breathtaking Footage of the Moon to Claude Debussy’s “Clair de Lune” (Moonlight)

From NASA’s Ernie Wright comes “Moon­light (Clair de Lune),” a visu­al­iza­tion that takes beau­ti­ful images of the lunar ter­rain and sets them to Claude Debussy’s 1905 com­po­si­tion, Clair de Lune (1905). Here’s how Wright describes the project:

This visu­al­iza­tion attempts to cap­ture the mood of Claude Debussy’s best-known com­po­si­tion, Clair de Lune (moon­light in French). The piece was pub­lished in 1905 as the third of four move­ments in the com­poser’s Suite Berga­masque, and unlike the oth­er parts of this work, Clair is qui­et, con­tem­pla­tive, and slight­ly melan­choly, evok­ing the feel­ing of a soli­tary walk through a moon­lit gar­den. The visu­als were com­posed like a nature doc­u­men­tary, with clean cuts and a most­ly sta­tion­ary vir­tu­al cam­era. The view­er fol­lows the Sun through­out a lunar day, see­ing sun­ris­es and then sun­sets over promi­nent fea­tures on the Moon. The sprawl­ing ray sys­tem sur­round­ing Coper­ni­cus crater, for exam­ple, is revealed beneath reced­ing shad­ows at sun­rise and lat­er slips back into dark­ness as night encroach­es. The visu­al­iza­tion was cre­at­ed to accom­pa­ny a per­for­mance of Clair de Lune by the Nation­al Sym­pho­ny Orches­tra Pops, led by con­duc­tor Emil de Cou, at the Kennedy Cen­ter for the Per­form­ing Arts in Wash­ing­ton, DC, on June 1 and 2, 2018, as part of a cel­e­bra­tion of NASA’s 60th anniver­sary. The visu­al­iza­tion uses a dig­i­tal 3D mod­el of the Moon built from Lunar Recon­nais­sance Orbiter glob­al ele­va­tion maps and image mosaics. The light­ing is derived from actu­al Sun angles dur­ing lunar days in 2018.


via Aeon

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Hear Debussy Play Debussy: A Vin­tage Record­ing from 1913

Pianist Plays Beethoven, Bach, Chopin, Rav­el & Debussy for Blind Ele­phants in Thai­land

Watch Clas­si­cal Music Come to Life in Art­ful­ly Ani­mat­ed Scores: Stravin­sky, Debussy, Bach, Beethoven, Mozart & More

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