A Gem of a Picture

It is always amazing to me how every individual brings their own unique sparkle to the experience of music.  I mean, you can sit down thirty people in a room, give each of them a sheet of paper and a box of crayons, put on some music for them to hear, and say “Listen closely, and draw what it sounds like…”….  And despite the fact that all hear the exact same music in the same room at the same time, and all have the same colors of crayons, each person comes up with a totally different and precious gem of a picture!  Now, isn’t that kind of remarkable?

So I was thrilled recently to open my morning email and find that a wonderful North Carolina educator named Linda Kendzierski had written to me about a project that she had been working on using my music.  Apparently, she had heard my “Columbia: We Dare to Dream” CD and had felt so inspired by the music that, as she said, “I had to do it, I just had to do it for myself!”  She had taken her favorite NASA photos of the universe (most of them images taken from the Hubble telescope), and arranged them as an artistic slide show using musical excerpts from the CD.  She called her creation “Beautiful Universe.”  Linda admitted that the amazing results of her project surprised her, as it was her first film, and from that she got the idea to show the film at her high school’s upcoming “Space Day” celebration.

“Linda K” (as she likes to be called) was inspired!  She loved the music… and she had listened closely and grabbed her crayons, so to speak, and had created her own precious gem of a picture.  And she wanted to share it with me and with everyone who loves and believes in space exploration.  I was intrigued!

And surprised.  Holy cow, what a film!  It’s true, I’ve always been wowed by the incredible images taken by the Hubble telescope… shimmering star clusters, and sensuous nebulae and all their colors, and all the countless galaxies that just blow your mind away….  But to see ALL these beautiful images flashing by in the slide show as the music from “Columbia” was playing, I was struck and awed.  Linda’s “Beautiful Universe”–it was a different vision than the one that I had in my mind when composing the music.  But it’s every bit as valid and inspiring and potent and human a picture as I could ever imagine.  And I kept thinking about how the STS-107 crew of Columbia would have loved to have seen the film and would have believed (as I do) in what it stands for.

So, if you haven’t watched the film yet, be sure to check it out.  You’re in for a real treat!  And to Linda K–you go girl!!  Thanks for your inspiration–an A++ job with your crayons!  It’s a gem of a picture, a collection of great beauty… and how fortunate for the rest of us, to be able to watch it and in it see the sparkle of your soul.


  1. Sabrina Moser
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    Oh, this really is just fabulous!!!! It adds a whole new dimension, so to speak!!!!

  2. Hi Sabrina, I’m glad you liked it too! Thanks for posting. And isn’t it wonderful that the last space shuttle crew to fly FIXED the Hubble telescope?!! Absolutely amazing! So now we can all look forward to seeing more incredible Hubble photos…. 🙂

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