Stellar Command: a planetarium software based cosmic performance interface

Fraietta, Angelo

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

This paper presents the use of Stellarium planetarium software coupled with the VizieR database of astronomical catalogues as an interface mechanism for creating astronomy based multimedia performances, and as a music composition interface. The celestial display from Stellarium is used to query VizieR, which then obtains scienti c astronomical data from the stars displayed–including colour, celestial position, magnitude and distance–and sends it as input data for music composition or performance. Stellarium and VizieR are controlled through Stellar Command, a software library that couples the two systems and can be used as both a standalone command line utility using Open Sound Control, and as a software library.