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Get Away

Grooving with the universe

At the redesigned Bishop Planetarium in Bradenton, there's a collaborative show of stars and music.

Published July 28, 2005

[Courtesy of Bishop Planetarium
Visitors to the Bishop Planetarium in Bradenton watch some of the funky images in the planetarium’s new multisensory show, Sonic Vision.


BRADENTON - If you've ever wondered what musicians such as Moby and David Bowie visualize when they create their songs, now you can find out. It turns out to be a rather bizarre landscape filled with fantastic colors, funky images, and hundreds of eyeballs blinking in unison. It's Fantasia for the 21st century.

After a devastating fire in 2001, Bradenton's remodeled Bishop Planetarium has reopened in a big way. This state of the art, full-dome theater is equipped with a $1-million digital projection system; there are only three systems of its kind in the world. Housed within the South Florida Museum complex, Bishop offers traditional astronomy programming that takes viewers on trips through the galaxy at warp speed.

What really stands out is the alternative music show Sonic Vision.

Presented in association with MTV2, Sonic Vision is a collaborative effort between Moby and New York's American Museum of Natural History. Featuring music by such notables as Coldplay, Audioslave, David Byrne and Brian Eno, viewers are treated to a kaleidoscopic fusion of sights and sounds that will have you gripping the armrest of your seat more than once.

From the plush airline-style reclining seats to the 50-foot dome designed to put you right in the center of the show, Bishop makes this a multisensory experience.

The lights dim and Radiohead's Everything In its Right Place pulses from several Dolby Surround Sound speakers hidden behind the dome's panels. For the next 35 minutes, it's a breathtaking ride as images form, separate and morph over the audience.

The playlist that accompanies this show is a combination of familiar songs and lesser known tunes that blend seamlessly into each other. The funky beats of Firestarter (the Prodigy) are followed up by the comparatively mellow Utopia (Goldfrapp), enabling the creators to take viewers right to the edge of sensory overload.

PREVIEW: Bishop Planetarium, 201 10th St. W, Bradenton. Show times: 1:15 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday; 1:15 and 8:15 Friday and Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Call 941 746-4131 or go to

[Last modified July 27, 2005, 09:54:07]

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