The interior of Ripon Cathedral is to be filled with son et lumiere, (sound and light) as part of a series of events designed to commemorate 50 years since a man first stood on the moon.
Projections of the solar system will fill the building accompanied by a rendition of Holst’s The Planets on the magnificent Lewis Organ during the event on March 15.
The cathedral’s ancient interior will be used as the canvas for a series of film projections inspired by ‘time and space’ set to a soundtrack of choral pieces sung by the cathedral’s lay clerks (adult singers) readings, organ music and soundscapes.
Ripon Cathedral’s magnificent west front was dramatically transformed by the poignant images projected on to it during the Ripon Remembers programme in 2018, which commemorated those who fell in the First World War.
The use of the interior as a backdrop is particularly fitting as the cathedral’s curate, Rev Caitlin Carmichael-Davies explains: “Medieval church builders knew exactly how to use light and space to create buildings which continue to inspire today. The cathedral’s nave is one of the widest in the country and provides wonderful acoustics and a stunning backdrop for the experience.
“We’ll be bringing 21st century technology, intermingled with timeless readings and music, to show the building to its best advantage and create a unique spectacle within these ancient walls – I can’t wait to see it all unfold.”
The Son et Lumiere starts at 7.30pm on March 15. Tickets are £10 from the cathedral shop. Bar from 7pm.
Ripon Cathedral is also hosting a planetarium on February 23 as part of Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’s Dark Skies Festival. This will feature 360 degree technology and an immersive digital walk-through of the International Space Station with Tim Peake.
The Dean of Ripon, the Very Rev John Dobson said: “These events are continuing an existing Ripon theme of celebrating the moon landing and human interest in the ‘heavens,’ seen in the remarkable design of the Chapel of the Holy Spirit by the renowned artist and silversmith Leslie Durbin which features planets and a space craft.” Durbin worked on the Sword of Stalingrad, presented to Stalin by Churchill.