VELA 6911: Multimedia Concert


Date and Time 
March 6, 2015
Dinkelspiel Auditorium

$10 | Stanford students free with SUID

General Public
Event Sponsor 
Stanford University Libraries, CCRMA, Music at Stanford
(831) 251-5700

Victor Gama and the Stanford New Ensemble conducted by Jindong Cai, present Vela 6911, a multimedia piece by Victor Gama. The concert will feature a variety of instruments designed by the composer, accompanied by video he shot in Antarctica in January 2012.

Vela 6911 is inspired by a diary of a South African Navy officer, lieutenant Lindsey Rooke, who took part in a secret nuclear weapons test conducted by the apartheid regime in 1979 off the coast of Antarctica. The test, detected by a U.S. satellite called Vela, was the validation of a military power that engulfed the whole Southern African region in a cold-war conflict in the late '70s and '80s. Rooke's diary reveals someone in contradiction between her love for nature and the mission she was on, which left a trace of devastation, death, and radioactive contamination in one of the most pristine and protected environments on earth. 

The idea to compose Vela 6911 started at Stanford in 2010 when Gama was SiCa Arts Visitor at the Humanities Center. Valuable contributions towards its research phase were provided by Stanford University Libraries. The piece was subsequently commissioned by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and premiered at Harris Theatre in 2012.

All of Gama's video, photographs, and research documentation for Vela 6911 are now part of Stanford University Library’s Archive of Recorded Sound.

There will be a pre-concert talk at 6:30 pm at Dinkelspiel Auditorium.

See also, the ALERT 747 Exhibit in Green Library February 3 - March 9, 2015.

[To maintain confidentiality, informant names have been anonymized.]