• Saturday, Apr 9, 2016, 7:30 p.m.

  • Walt Disney Theater
  • Sold out. Tickets for this event are no longer available.

A collaborative presentation about science and music, with internationally acclaimed special guests Hans Zimmer, Paul Franklin, and KipThorne

  • Saturday, Apr 9, 2016, 7:30 p.m.

  • Walt Disney Theater
  • Sold out. Tickets for this event are no longer available.

Sponsored by the Ginsburg Family Foundation and
the Steven H. Goldman Foundation
National Young Composers Challenge | Composium Sunday, November 13, 2016

Produced by Hans Zimmer, Paul Franklin, and Kip Thorne

A concert presentation from the story creator, composer, and visual artists of the movie Interstellar, featuring composer Hans Zimmer, visual artist Paul Franklin, and physicist Kip Thorne.

This multimedia performance envelopes the audience in the Warped Side of the Universe: phenomena made primarily or solely from warped space and time. These include, among others, gravitational waves (recently discovered by LIGO, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory), the colliding black holes that produced those waves, black holes tearing stars apart, the cores of supernova explosions, and the birth of our universe and birth of the fundamental forces of nature. These will be experienced through music, videos from computer simulations, poetry and prose.



Prologue: The Discovery of Gravitational Waves
– visuals, poetry and music: Blue Dot

Science: The Warped Side of the Universe
– visuals and discussion by Kip Thorne

Concert: The Warped Side of the Universe
– visuals and music:

  • Movement 1 – Journey to the Line
    Movement 2 – Murph Gravity
    Movement 3 – Interstellar Live Suite
    Movement 4 – Time MUSICIANS



Hans Zimmer, keyboard and grand piano
Kip Thorne, speaker
Michael Einziger, electric guitar
Ann Marie Simpson, violin
Nathan Wang, keyboard
Andy Page, modular synthesizers
Ayako Yonetani, violin
Iryna Usova, violin
Chung Park, viola
Laurel Stanton, cello
Jeff Moore, percussion


Paul Franklin and Oliver James, co-creators of visual presentation
Based on computer simulations by astrophysicists and artistic renderings by members of Franklin’s and James’s visual effects team at Double Negative, Ltd.



Michael Einziger is best known as the songwriter and guitarist of the band “Incubus”. However, he also studied the history of science at Harvard University and is passionate about evolutionary biology and physics. Michael is also a founding partner in Versicolor Technologies, a biotech company that is researching a proprietary molecule with cosmetic and oncologic applications.

Paul Franklin has been creating spectacular visual effects for over 25 years. Co-founder of Double Negative Visual Effects—one of the world’s leading digital visual effects studios—Paul is perhaps best known for his long-running collaboration with director Christopher Nolan. Paul’s work has been featured in more than thirty films including Inception and Interstellar, both of which brought him Academy Awards. Coming from a fine arts background, Paul has maintained a life-long interest in science—the chance to work with Kip Thorne on creating the visuals for Interstellar was an opportunity of a lifetime and tonight’s concert is a wonderful extension of their working relationship.

Oliver James is Chief Scientist at Double Negative Ltd. He has spent the last 20 years combining his interests in physics, photography and computer science by developing technology to realize some of the most demanding visual effects in film. His film credits include Event Horizon, Sexy Beast, The Matrix Reloaded & Revolutions, Batman Begins, Harry Potter, Quantum of Solace and Inception, but it was his close collaboration with Kip Thorne, creating the iconic images of a black hole in Interstellar, that ignited his passion for visualizing scientific phenomena.

Jeff Moore is a professor of music at UCF and the director of the UCF School of Performing Arts. His biography may be read on the UCF Music website.

Andy Page is a composer and sound designer from Tasmania. He has collaborated with Hans Zimmer on films including The Amazing Spider Man 2 and Chappie, and with Harry Gregson-Williams on The Martian. His high-tech approach to sound design features the use of modular synthesizers and digital signal processing. His interest in LIGO and the important work of Kip Thorne is central to his original piece featured tonight, which is a musical representation of gravitational waves.

Chung Park is the director of orchestras and string music education at UCF. His biography may be read on the UCF Music website.

Ann Marie Simpson is an internationally acclaimed violinist who has performed with Ringo Starr, Mick Jagger and Pharrell Williams, among many other artists. However, her background is firmly rooted in science. After completing a biology degree at the University of Virginia, Ann Marie went on to teach conceptual physics and chemistry for five years at Woodberry Forest School. She continues to pursue her interest in science and is a cofounder of Versicolor Technologies with her husband Michael Einziger.

Laurel Stanton is an adjunct professor at UCF. Her biography may be read on the UCF Music website.

Kip Thorne, the Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics Emeritus at Caltech, is best known for co-founding the 1000-scientist LIGO Project and formulating its science vision. LIGO, a half-century effort for Thorne, recently announced the discovery of gravitational waves arriving to Earth. This verified Einstein’s last great prediction, and opened up a new window onto the Universe. This evening’s performance—Kip’s vision for what will be seen through this new window—is an outgrowth of Kip’s friendship with Hans Zimmer, Paul Franklin and Oliver James. They collaborated on Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster movie Interstellar, with Zimmer composing the music, Franklin and James providing visual effects, and Thorne providing the science.

Iryna Usova was born in Odessa, Ukraine. Her musical education began at the age of five, and continued for more in-depth, and detailed violin study at the Odessa College of Culture and Arts K.D. Dankevich. After graduation, she studied at the Odessa State A.V. Nezhdanova Academy of Music, and obtained both Diploma of Bachelor’s Degree and Specialist Diploma in “Musical Arts.” Over the years at the Academy of Music, she participated in many concerts in Odessa and other cities in Ukraine. She won the 2nd prize at the International Competition “XXI Century Art” in 2005. In 2003, she started working in the Odessa Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, which performed on tours in many cities of European countries including Spain, Italy, France, and Germany. Currently, Iryna Usova is in her last semester of Master’s degree program in the Department of Music at UCF, where she is the concertmaster of the UCF Symphony Orchestra.

Nathan Wang is a composer who has worked on both sides of the Pacific. The Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Shanghai Philharmonic have performed his compositions. Nathan received a Fulbright Fellowship to continue music graduate studies at Oxford University. However, by going to Oxford, he declined an acceptance to Harvard medical school, after minoring in biology. Returning to his love of science, he has immersed himself in the world of warped space and time to inspire his arrangements of our program tonight.

Ayako Yonetani is a professor of  music at UCF. Her biography may be read on the UCF Music website.

Hans Zimmer is internationally known as the most successful film composer of his era. His biography can barely contain the significant movies he has scored, the awards he has won, and the protégés he has mentored. However, tonight his passion for music will be eclipsed only by his passion for science. In the same way that Hans is able to assemble unique musicians to bring his iconic scores to life, he has assembled a band that shares his love of science, discovery and music as metaphor. The musicians on stage tonight are as interested in the science of Interstellar as they are in the music.


Read more about physicist Kip Thorne’s exciting new discovery in the New York Times!