Ithaca Illuminated

Ken Butler, “Voices of Anxious Objects”

Take a break from winter sports, snowman building and fireside conversations to enjoy a different side of winter. Music, arts and science are explored in various events at the Light in Winter annual festival in Ithaca, being held from January 19-22, 2006. Last year 6,000 people attended Light in Winter to observe and participate in events connected with a theme of motion. This winter, see dramatic forces of nature, listen to Middle Eastern music and learn about symmetry. All events during the four-day festival are held either in downtown Ithaca or on the Cornell University campus.

Visit the Tompkins County Library on January 19 for the art show opening. Listen to Simon Shaheen play the Middle Eastern lute and violin on January 20, or be amazed by Tompkins County Poet Laureate Michelle Berry. Relax in the evening at Les Duces or The Lost Dog Café to tunes from Margaret Wakely, Molly McMillan and Trevor McDonald.

On Saturday, January 21, learn about the art of birds, or watch Laurie Anderson perform “The End of the Moon,” her solo showcase of words and music. If science is your interest, visit the Statler Auditorium at Cornell and attend a lecture by Mario Livio. A senior astrophysicist at the Space Telescope Science Institute at Johns Hopkins University, Livio will discuss science and mathematics and show their relation to the everyday world. He will inform the audience about the concept of symmetry. Livio will attempt to show how symmetry plays a part in our human perception, even in the selection of a mate. If music is what you seek, listen and watch Ken Butler perform with hybrid string instruments created from household objects and tools, in accompaniment to video projections and electronic trickery.

On the last day of the festival enjoy Tom Schuch in his portrayal of Albert Einstein, or experience forces of nature in a film and musical presentation at the State Theater. Take a tour outdoors and become a detective with expert guides at the Cornell Plan­tations. Identify trees in winter; investigate tracks, patterns, tunnels and other signs of how animals leave their marks. Get down and decipher the patterns in snow made by wind, sun and people.

More information about Light in Winter can be found at

by Deirdre Byrne

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