This might seem like an odd title. Most people probably wouldn't associate those words together. But, for me they have been inextricably linked.
This upcoming week I will be going to see a concert at the NC Symphony celebrating the 50th anniversary of Star Trek. This got me thinking about the impact Star Trek had on my love of music and the arts when I was younger.
I grew up obsessed with astronomy and Star Trek, thanks to my Dad, who grew up on the original series. By day he is a computer programer, by night an amateur astronomer, and semi-professional musician. Of the many things we did together when I was little, one of my favorite was watching the new episodes of Voyager and reruns of The Next Generation.
The glorious thing about Star Trek is how theatre, dancing, music, and art are all presented as the things that make us human. Doctor Crusher is a tap dancer, Captain Picard is an avid reader and thespian, Ensign Kim is a Clarinetist, and Commander Data tries many artistic ventures with varying degrees of success. Through these shows my dad was showing me that the arts allow us to depict our emotions and to explore parts of ourselves we didn't know we had. Those things help give us the drive to "explore strange new worlds" both in our own lives and together as the human race.
While we aren't yet living on other planets, we have seen nebulae too beautiful to define, peered toward galaxies and black holes that allow us to view our past, and we have even heard the gravitational waves of an enormous collision from long ago.
The beauty of things unseen is what drives the exploration of astronomers and the creativity of musicians. In my childhood I learned that science and music do not have a wall between them, but are complimentary. My love of astronomy and science drives my desire to depict the emotions that life and exploration bring me. My hope is that through performance and teaching I might inspire that spark of curiosity in others.