Einstein's Cosmic Messengers' is a project by composer Andrea Centazzo and theoretical physicist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory Michele Vallisneri. Composed in celebration of LIGO's history, achievement, and promise, 'Einstein's Cosmic Messengers' is a stunning, vertiginous journey through magnificent visions of the Universe, through Einstein's genius and obsessions, and through LIGO's advanced technology and breathtaking scope. Centazzo's music synthesizes the mystery of Oriental percussive vibrations with the timbral harmonic understanding of contemporary music, and the soul of jazz and rock post-culture. Centazzo plays all sounds and sequences in real time with acoustic and digital instruments. The video was edited and synchronized to the music, using sequences that Centazzo shot with real actors, as well as astronomical images and computer animations originally produced for educational purposes, used here as a broad artistic palette. Music and video by A. Centazzo. Concept by A. Centazzo and M. Vallisneri. Images, video, and animations: A. Centazzo, California Institute of Technology (LIGO Lab; Division of Physics, Mathematics, and Astronomy; Public Relations), ESA (Hubble Information Center), LIGO Scientific Collaboration, Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics/Albert Einstein Institute, NASA (Beyond Einstein, Chandra), National Science Foundation (Einstein's Messengers), Space Telescope Science Institute (Hubble Heritage Project), Teatro Comunale di San Giovanni in Persiceto, M. Vallisneri. NTSC all region, 55 minutes.
Gravitational waves (the theme of Einstein's Cosmic Messengers) are ripples in the fabric of space and time produced by violent events in the distant universe. Albert Einstein predicted their existence in 1916; but only in the last two decades did we achieve the technology to detect them and thus gain unique insight in the dark side of the Universe. This technology is expressed most exquisitely in LIGO, a facility supported by more than 500 researchers in the world scientific community, and a vital member in a developing global network of gravitational-wave observatories. LIGO's measurements illuminate the fundamental nature of gravity and throw open an entirely new window onto the Universe, affording views of previously inaccessible such as the coalescence of black holes and neutron stars. --Ligo