Small steps and giant leaps – In the Steps of Apollo 3D to launch at We The Curious

Tuesday 21 May | Jen Forster

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, a brand new specially created 3D Planetarium show In The Steps of Apollo 3D is being launched at We The Curious. Premiering on 20 July, the new music show charts our relationship with the Moon and explores the legacy of the lunar landing in five musical journeys.

A collaboration between music and education charity Sound World, and the Planetarium team at We The Curious, In The Steps of Apollo 3D brings music, art and science together, featuring specially commissioned music from five leading composers; each journey features contemporary classical works in glorious surround sound, accompanied by stunning astronomical visuals across the Planetarium dome.

From the observations of ancient stargazers, through to the danger and excitement of the 1969 mission and on to the countless destinations yet to be discovered and explored, the 3D show takes the audience on a flight through the solar system and beyond. Each journey is prefaced with an introduction from the Planetarium presenter, providing scientific background to the visuals which have been specially created by the in-house Planetarium team at We The Curious.

Anna Henley, Planetarium Developer at We The Curious said:

“Our state-of-the-art Planetarium allows us to visualise the latest astronomical data in a realistic and immersive simulation of the Universe – the perfect environment to explore the legacy of the Moon landings. We’ve made some beautiful sequences that will not only allow you to follow in the footsteps of those early astronauts, but also explore some of the more recent discoveries made by later space probes and telescopes, taking us across our Solar System, the Milky Way galaxy and beyond.”

Julian Leeks, Sound World Director added:

“This project has been a fascinating experience for all of the composers. We really needed some very special music for this, music capable of standing alongside the beauty and mystery of the Universe! But we’re fortunate to have some brilliant composers working in the region and everyone has really risen to the challenge. I’m absolutely delighted with the quality of the pieces and when we heard them with the visuals in the planetarium it was amazing - a genuinely unique and utterly engrossing experience.”

The premiere of In The Steps of Apollo 3D on 20 July will be preceded by a special 45 minute talk ‘A Photographic Story of the Moon Landings’ from Debbie Ireland, Curator of the Royal Photographic Society exhibition Space Steps:The Moon and Beyond.

In The Steps of Apollo 3D has been created by music and education charity Sound World and the Planetarium team at We The Curious, and is supported by Arts Council England, Ambache Charitable Trust, Foyle Foundation, International Astronomical Union, Science & Technology Facilities Council and University of Bristol. As well as being distributed to planetaria across the UK, the show will also be taken to schools and community centres in an STFC funded mobile dome tour.

In The Steps of Apollo 3D will open on 20 July (and includes a 45 min talk), with further shows on 2 and 30 August. Tickets cost £14.95/£12.95 concessions per seat for the July 20 50th celebration show, and £9.95/£8.95 concessions for the August shows. Pre-booking is advised as Planetarium shows are always popular. This show is for 16+, and is the latest addition to the Planetarium Sounds programme of evening music shows which include Dark Side of the Moon: The Fulldome Experience and the forthcoming show Holst’s Planets – due to launch 2 August.

To book tickets visit or call our Bookings team on 0117 915 1000 (Monday – Friday 9-5) for more information.



For further information, images, or to arrange a press trip to We The Curious, please contact Jen Forster – Comms Manager, on 0117 9157 152/07967 334 152 or

You can also follow We The Curious on Twitter (@wethecurious_) or on Facebook (wethecurious). For more information, please visit

For further information about the music, the composers or the performers please email Kathryn at Follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@SoundWorld_UK) or visit


Editors Notes :

About We The Curious:

We The Curious was previously known as At-Bristol Science Centre; an educational charity with an aim to “make science accessible to all”, it opened in 2000, and welcomed over 5 million visitors in the past 17 years. At-Bristol relaunched as We The Curious in September 2017, with a new vision that is committed to creating a culture of curiosity.

We The Curious is an idea and a place for everyone. Our venue on Bristol’s harbourside is a bit like an indoor festival, with all sorts of different experiences, where you can interact with exhibits, test stuff out and participate rather than just visit.  We’re all about empowering everyone to ask questions and get creative - with boundaries removed between science, art, people and ideas - a culture of curiosity.

The Planetarium is the UK’s first 3D digital Planetarium.

About Sound World:
Sound World is a new music and education charity born out of the successful non-profit organisation New
Music in the South West. Our mission statement is Great Music for Everyone.

We are committed to promoting concerts and commissions of the highest quality and taking them beyond
the traditional concert going audience to communities who wouldn’t otherwise have access to great live

We believe that music’s declining status within the educational system is completely at odds with the
wealth of academic research demonstrating its broad social, cognitive and developmental benefits.
We aim to ensure that all children, regardless of background, have access to these benefits and have the
opportunity and support to flourish.

Dame Evelyn Glennie CH, DBE
Armando Iannucci OBE
Prof. John Pickard
For more information please visit

About the composers:

Litha Efthymiou
Litha is a composer of contemporary classical music and a Bristol University PhD graduate. She has been commissioned to compose new work for numerous ensembles and organisations (including Ensemble Bash, Consortium 5, New Music in the  South West, the International Guitar Foundation, and many more) and enjoys collaborating with her twin sister Effy, also a composer, on large scale interdisciplinary work. She has been supported in this work by Arts Council England, PRS Women Make Music, the National Lottery, Hinrichsen Foundation, RVW Trust and the Wellcome Trust.

Sadie Harrison
Sadie is particularly well known for the socio-political aspects of her music-making, with many works challenging stereotypes of marginalised peoples - refugees, Afghan women, the deaf, the homeless - celebrating their creativity and individuality with powerful expressions of musical solidarity. Sadie is Composer-in-Association with the Afghanistan National Institute of Music and her symphonic work Sapida-Dam-Nau was premièred by their Women’s Orchestra at the 2017 World Economic Forum. Her Rosegarden of Light has been used in several international films and documentaries (Australia, Kabul, USA) and several CDs dedicated to her work have been released to critical acclaim. Sadie’s work has recently been supported by two International Development grants from Arts Council England, a Finzi Trust Scholarship and a PRSF Composer’s Fund award.

Julian Leeks
Julian began his musical life as a songwriter, guitarist and singer with various Cheltenham-based rock bands before turning to a more formal study of music in his 20s. He subsequently undertook postgraduate studies at Bristol University graduating with a PhD in Musical Composition. Julian has written in various genres, including orchestral and choral music, songs, solo pieces and music for chamber ensemble. His compositional style reflects broad musical interests extending from renaissance polyphony to the contemporary avant-garde. Elements of world music, minimalism and the rock music of his early years also exert their occasional influence. Recent projects include collaborations with Bristol Ensemble, Kokoro (the new music ensemble of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra), St. George’s and Hauser & Wirth. 

Michael Ellison
Michael’s music seamlessly fuses contemporary and traditional influences into a unique and personal idiom. His first opera, Mevlâna-Say I am You, broke new ground in transcultural music with its integration of traditional Turkish instruments into contemporary music. His second opera, Deniz Küstü, further develops this practice. Michael has been commissioned and performed by many high-profile groups and institutions including BBC Symphony Orchestra, Acht Brücken Festival, Radio France and Aspects des musiques d’aujourd’hui. He is Principal Investigator on the five-year, Bristol-based European Research Council project Beyond East and West: Developing and Documenting an Evolving Transcultural Musical Practice (2015-2020).

Richard Blackford
Richard began his musical career at the heart of the European avant-garde, working as assistant to Hans Werner Henze, one of the leading figures of 20th century music. Subsequent collaborations with poets Ted Hughes and Tony Harrison led to international film and theatre projects, including The Prince's Play and Fram at the Royal National Theatre. Richard has developed considerable compositional range and this has enabled him to pursue a highly successful career in concert music, whilst also forging a career as a leading composer for film and television. His music is regularly performed and broadcast around the world. Recent highlights include The Great Animal Orchestra Symphony for BBC National Orchestra of Wales (a collaboration with soundscape recordist Bernie Krause), Niobe for the Czech Philharmonic and Kalon for the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. In 2015 he was awarded Die Goldene Deutschland, for services to music in Germany.