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NASA takes over Jones Hall: Space agency brings in exhibits to complement Orbit - HD Odyssey

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A large model of the Discovery space shuttle. Courtesy of Houston Symphony
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Say cheese? Life-sized walk-in spacesuit cutout next to pop-up of the International Space Station. Courtesy of Houston Symphony
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A replica of the International Space Station with a diagram gives perspective to its size. Courtesy of Houston Symphony

While Houston Symphony musicians were hard at work at rehearsal refining this weekend's premiere of Orbit - an HD Odyssey, there was much activity happening in the lobby of Jones Hall Thursday.

A space vibe was in the air as installations traveled from NASA to the downtown concert venue. In an effort to provide context for Houston Symphony's collaboration with filmmaker Duncan Copp, who took engaging images from manned and unmanned spacecraft and satellites and paired them with the music of John Adams and Richard Strauss, materials that tie the artistic experience to objects that were responsible for capturing the footage are on display.

The images and NASA paraphernalia do not take away from the vibrant music, but rather work in tandem to encourage new concert goers to give the Houston Symphony a chance.

 Like saying cheese? For audiences that love to capture their experiences on film, a cutout space suit adjacent to a International Space Station background will surely be popular.

A large model of the Discovery Space Shuttle in flight position nods to the opening of Orbit, when Adams' Short Ride in a Fast Machine takes listeners from sea level to 250 miles above the surface of the Earth, reaching speeds of 17,500 miles per hour, the required pace to stay on course.

Inside a glass case, guests will find a mock-up of a floating International Space Station above a football field to scale. Just before the shuttle docks, it executes a complete rotation to check for physical damage. This ballet, as Copp calls it, is set to Strauss' Also Sprach Zarathustra, known as the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Like saying cheese? For those that love to capture their experiences on film, a space suit cutout adjacent to an International Space Station backdrop will surely be popular.

To round out the lobby exhibit, a suit that has actually been in space will arrive Friday, just in time for the 7:30 p.m. downbeat.

Editor's note: Check out Joel Luk's exclusive video sneak peek of Orbit.

Houston Symphony's Orbit - an HD Odyssey is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Jones Hall. Tickets start at $29 and can be purchased online or by calling 713-224-7575.

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