Renowned wildlife photographer Frans Lanting has unveiled a new project with an unexpected new partner -- acclaimed American composer Philip Glass. Their collaboration is Life: A Journey Through Time, a multimedia presentation that's a feast for both the eyes and ears.
The genesis of the project was sparked years ago while Lanting was taking pictures of horseshoe crabs -- a life form that has remained basically unchanged over hundreds of millions of years. Lanting realized that the creatures offer a window into the past, and that there exist many other examples of how time tempers the shape of life on Earth, and how the Earth is in turn changed by the life it harbors.
Lanting spent seven years working on every continent -- including Antarctica -- and consulting with leading scientists in geology, paleontology and evolutionary biology. The result was a visual narrative of life assembled from nearly 200 images. The photo collection begins with an exploration of the basic elements of our world -- earth, air, fire, water, space -- and goes on to show how life has developed into an irresistible force that affects the entire world.
Glass first saw the images a couple of years ago and agreed to work with Marin Alsop, music director of the Cabrillo Music Festival in the California coastal town of Santa Cruz, to provide an hourlong musical score for Lanting’s images. The photos are projected onto an enormous screen that is suspended above the full orchestra.