.Santa Cruz Symphony Celebrates Frans Lanting’s ‘Life’

With music by Philip Glass, epic project returns to Santa Cruz

On June 18, the Santa Cruz Symphony (SCS) will present Life: A Journey Through Time, a multimedia performance that first premiered at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in 2006.

Featuring music by acclaimed composer Philip Glass, with imagery from Santa Cruz’s Frans Lanting, the show combines performing arts and science, telling the history of life on Earth—from its earliest beginnings up to the present.

Lanting is a world-renowned and award-winning wildlife photographer whose work has appeared in books, magazines and exhibitions across the globe. His assignments have taken him from the Amazon Basin to the subantarctic. 

Life was produced for the Cabrillo Festival with music director Marin Alsop, who worked with Glass, editor Chirstine Eckstrom, arranger Michael Riesman, visual designer Alexander V. Nichols and Lanting, who acted as creative director. Since its premiere, it has been performed around the world, from New York City and London to Rome and Amsterdam. 

Lanting says it feels great to bring it back to Santa Cruz, and praises Glass’ contributions.

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“It feels like closing a circle to be doing it again in Santa Cruz,” he says. “Philip Glass’ music has always inspired me. It has this pulsing, organic quality that is reminiscent of how patterns in nature evolved.”

The performance will be led by SCS Maestro Daniel Stewart. Prior to the show, a panel of leading UC Santa Cruz researchers will be held, featuring astrobiologist Natalie Batahla, paleoecologist Paul Koch, genetics scientist David Haussler and geologist Gary Griggs. Lanting will join them, explaining the ideas behind Life.

Lanting says that the show has evolved since its premiere, and will include new imagery.

Life is an immersive experience that affirms the unity and the diversity of all life on earth,” he says. “In these tumultuous times, it is important to be reminded of the fundamental connections we share with other forms of life.”

‘Life: A Journey Through Time’ will be presented at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium on Saturday, June 18 at 7:30pm. The science panel will start at 6:30pm. Ticket prices range from $47-$121. bit.ly/3mI2C6i.


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