Spring 2011:

April 8, '11 "An Evening at the Edge of the Universe", Dr. James R. Webb, Director, SARA Observatory, Professor, Department of Physics, Florida International University in concert with and special guest composer/producer John Serrie. Live concert under the stars in the Planetarium dome!


Dr. Webb takes you to the very edges of the visible universe to discuss his research on quasars and supermassive black holes. We start out with a video tour to a SM black hole accompanied by a classical guitar rendition of "Across the Universe" by the Beatles. Then on to discuss the way we study remote exotic objects in astronomy. Finally, listen to some music composed from quasar observations and a live stellar jam session with world acclaimed guest composer/producer Jonn Serrie!

Dr. James R. Webb
Director, SARA Observatory
Professor, Department of Physics
Florida International University

Dr. Webb grew up in central Indiana where he obtained a bachelors degree in physics and moved to Florida and earned a masters and PhD in astronomy. After graduate school, Dr. Webb taught at Stephen F. Austin State University, then moved to the Goddard Space Flight Center for a year, and finally to Miami at Florida International University where he has been ever since. Most of his scientific career centered on the study of the continuum variability of active galaxies and Blazars. In addition to his cutting edge research activities, he has taken great pride in teaching at all levels (introductory undergraduate to graduate level) and in educating the general public through public lectures. He also plays guitar and writes astronomy music.

John Serrie

Jonn Serrie is at the forefront of the electronic music industry. His visionary compositional skills have revolutionized today's contemporary electronic music. Along with his extensive portfolio of recordings, Serrie's list of achievements and contributions is both diverse and esteemed. He was commissioned to compose the music for the world's first interactive planetarium production with Star Wars creator George Lucas and the Hayden Planetarium in New York City. His music has been heard in literally hundreds of theatres worldwide including England, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Japan, China, Canada, South America, Australia and many others. He composed the score for "Galaxies Across Space And Time", an IMAX and Space Telescope Science Institute feature film about the discovery of Deep Field galaxies beyond the known universe. The film won first place in the Large Format Film Festival in Los Angeles. John's music is also featured in the planetarium theatre on the Queen Mary 2, the world's most advanced luxury cruise ship. His music is used in World's Fair exhibits around the globe, including the Futures Pavilion in Seville that won first place for the best science exhibit.

Jonn contributed music to PBS ("John Glenn; an American Hero"), the Discovery Channel ("Wings" series), the Weather Channel, the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, custom music for aviation's top female aerobatic champion Patty Wagstaff, performance music for legendary pilot Pat Epps and a unique presentation of educational narrative and live music with famed NASA astronaut Story Musgrave called "Space Stories".

Jonn is an FAA licensed pilot with advanced instrument and commercial ratings and flies for the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary as a search and rescue mission pilot. He has composed music for the hit Hollywood film "What The Bleep Do We Know?" starring Academy Award winner Marlee Matlin and projects on wellness with Bernie Segal. Jonn was chosen to compose the music for Cirque De La Symphonia's new corporate show, "Cirque Universe" which features an interactive and live electronic music performance with world renowned Cirque artists. Jonn performed at the anniversary celebration of Apollo 11 televised worldwide from Cape Canaveral, as well as premier performances at the Ansari X-Prize and International Space Development Consortium events in St. Louis and Washington, DC. He has performed before world leaders at the Carter Center in Atlanta and major corporate, astronomy and New Thought events around the country.

Jonn also sponsors the Galaxy Music Scholarship, a $1,000 prize awarded to graduating high school music students. Jonn's music is utilized in the medical community for sleep research and music therapy programs for autistic children. The music of Jonn Serrie embraces the expansiveness of space with the intelligent use of melody. He has made space understandable and the soul accessible. "My music exists to help us explore a sense of ourselves and our place in the Universe."