There is a wide, yawning black infinity. In every direction, the extension is endless; the sensation of depth is overwhelming. And the darkness is immortal. Where light exists, it is pure, blazing, fierce; but light exists almost nowhere, and the blackness itself is also pure and blazing and fierce.

– Carl Sagan

Project summary

It might be said that we enter the planetarium for the same reason we enter the concert hall: to be brought in touch with the sublime and the unknown. In both places we make contact with tangible reality and imagined panoramas – and in both places our sense of perspective is expanded exponentially.

In the Fall of 2019, The Adler Planetarium and Spektral Quartet bring these two mysterious worlds into orbit through ECLIPSE, a new multimedia work by composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir and video artist Sigurdur Gudjónsson. Created for an immersive, full-dome theater experience, Thorvaldsdottir’s enchanting and beautifully disorienting sounds take on an even more vivid hue through Gudjonsson’s evocative imagery, promising an absolutely unforgettable live experience.

Eclipse marks a major milestone for the string quartet repertoire, written by one of the most distinctive composers of her generation. Winner of The New York Philharmonic's prestigious Kravis Emerging Composer award, Anna Thorvaldsdottir is heralded for music that “conjures unseen worlds” and creates “shimmering, harmonically ambiguous, thoroughly enveloping texture” (New York Times). Elemental power and an expansive scope are signatures of her music – soundscapes in which the natural world collides with colossal, fantastical forces.

As a longtime artistic partner of Ms. Thorvaldsdottir, Sigurdur Gudjónsson is deep in the process of developing video art that immerses the audience in a synesthetic experience, linking visual and aural elements to enhance the concertgoer’s perceptual field and produce new sensations in both body and mind.

A piece of profound artistic collaboration, Eclipse provokes considerations of our relationship to the vast cosmos without – and the infinite universe within. 


PHASE ONE: Spring/Summer 2019  Development of the artistic work.

PHASE TWO: Fall 2019-Spring 2020  Live Performances in Chicago, New York City, Washington DC, Denver CO, and other cities.  

PHASE THREE: Spring/Summer 2020 Development of commercial recording. The finished multimedia work will be adapted to a fully immersive 360º video format and packaged as a video album / mobile app that can be experienced at home with a VR headset such as Oculus Go or an apparatus like Google’s Cardboard mobile phone viewer.   Release date goal: Summer 2020