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Nova Puppis


Multichannel fixed media – German premiere at ZKM KUBUS on April, Saturday 30th, 2022

"My grandfather’s name was Bernhard Hildebrandt Dawson. He was born in 1890 in Kansas City, USA and died in 1960 in La Plata, my birthplace in Argentina. Dawson was an astronomer and went to La Plata in 1912 to work in the new astronomical observatory which had just opened. In 1942 he discovered a new double star which he named Nova Puppis. Thanks to this discovery, he received the David Pickering medal in 1942 (a kind of Nobel Prize for astronomers). Asteroid 1829, located in the asteroid belt, is also named after him. Likewise a crater on the dark side of the moon. This strange man, who lived with us and who spoke very little, died when I was 8 years old. I have distant and intrigued memories of him and his passion for the spheres, as well as his late-night life.

His books were marked with the following Exlibris, taken from a poem by Goethe: "Like the star […] without haste, but without rest" ... that was his motto.

Therefore, this work is a tribute to his discovery and to the passion he had for searching beyond the limits of the visible. Somewhere in the sky Nova Puppis is always there and I am especially interested in the fact that this star is double. That is to say two inseparable objects which make one for our perception. I always explore duality in my music with this idea that one is not enough. For me, it takes at least two for things to work. I am not trying to imitate or mimic anything in the behavior of this star, but am freely inspired by my grandfather's thoughts and emotions and his perseverance to unlock the secrets of the universe.

So I invite you to listen like the stars, without haste, but without truce."

Daniel Teruggi

Commissioned by the GRM (Groupe de recherches musicales)

The piece piece has been designed during an artistic residency of Daniel Teruggi at ZKM from April 19th to May 1st, 2022. It has been presented in a ZKM  KUBUS concert on April, Saturday 30th, 2022.