Midnight Star

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Midnight Star

Playa Art Installation, Burning Man 2017

FEATURING: The Big Dipper

Star of the Show

At midnight, the Big Dipper's stars will glide into perfect alignment with seven red rings hovering above playa.



Your Voice as Light Show

All night long, people speaking into microphones trigger visual responses in Midnight Star's field of hovering rings. Hoops ringed with smart LED lights react in real time to volume, pitch and rythym.


NASA Deep-Space Sounds

A field of ambient sound greets wanderers. Original scores integrate space recordings: solar plasma, quasars, Saturn's rings, Leonids meteors, astronaut chatter... listen


Layered Vocals

Three microphones gather voices, inviting words, songs and utterances. Folks jam and groove with one another. Sensors gauge their layered vocals, as lights and soundscape respond.

Secret Sauce

Loop Repeat Pedal

Added especially for Black Rock musicians, the middle mic contains a secret weapon: a repeat pedal to lay down multiple looping tracks, for layers of thick juicy sound.


Celestial Calculations

Hundreds of calculations are required long before arriving on playa, to precisely position Midnight Star's hoops to receive the Big Dipper's transitory stars, which roam through the sky.


Illuminated Rings

A field of 30" illuminated rings spatially mimic the Big Dipper's stars, in light-years to earth and night-sky elevation. At midnight, the stars and rings perfectly align as folks gather for meditative ritual.

Midnight Ritual

Monday - Thursday
Gathering begins 11:30 pm @ Midnight Star

Meditative Cosmic Journey

Join our Midnight Ritual when the Big Dipper's stars perfectly align inside Midnight Star's rings.

Take a guided meditative tour of the night sky. Combining spirituality, music and physics, we'll journey from our galaxy to deep outer space, exploring the meaning of the universe and life in the cosmos.

Master of Ceremony: Nir Lahav is a PhD astrophysicist and astronomer, specializing in the science of consciousness.

On-Playa Location

Deep dark desert, near Black Rock Observatory!
Placement at 5750 & 11:55


Dina Fisher

Artist ~ Los Angeles CA

Pat Hearring

Audio/Lighting ~ Richmond VA

Aurel Jacquot

Programming ~ France

Nir Lahav PhD

Astronomy ~ Berkeley CA


Sight Unseen

We're a crew of seasoned and virgin burners who found one another on burning man's collaboration forums.


Skype, phone, email, video conferencing. We connect, brain storm, solve problems, tinker, collaborate across oceans, mountains, and time zones. We'll finally meet at Burning Man, sink our poles down into the earth and bring to fruition our Midnight Star plans.

Special Thanks
  • Om Hu

    Gratitude to Om from Human Lightship, for bringing sound healers and his own music into the midnight ritual.

  • Robin Hild

    Shout out to Mr. Robin Hild for contributing expert custom carpentry skills to our off-playa build.

  • On-playa Crew

    Dusty hugs to Nir Ofek and Zahy Bnaya who helped on our 22-hour (omg!), final build day.

Smart LED Rings Operating Dusk to Dawn
Sunrise Building art into the wee hours
Build Crew Pat, Dina, Aurel
Deep Playa Near Black Rock Observatory
Style and Smile Exhausted, Dusty, Real
2017 Event Art Car Drive By
Dig, Dig, Dig Help from Burning Man Org
Realization Months of Planning Pay Off
Clean Up - Post Event Leave No Trace

Listen to Soundscape

Ambient Loop 🔊

Original soundtrack composed and edited by the artist from astronaut chatter, NASA space-object recordings, inspirational physics quotes, prayer, and more.

Source materials include: human heart beat, gravitational waves from two merging black holes, quasar, Jupiter's whistler mode chorus and electron cyclotron emissions, radio emissions from Earth's neighboring planets, chorus waves in Earth's magnetosphere, SpaceX Falcon launch, Exploration Flight Test 1 launch, Space Shuttle Discovery launch, voice snippets from Neil Armstrong and Carl Sagan, prayer from Dina Fisher, lecture excerpts from inspiring cosmologists including Michelle Thaller, Kelly Holley-Bockelmann, Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Midnight Ritual Score 🔊

Compiled/edited by the artist from various recordings including drums, Indian flute, Tibetan bowls, chimes, and vocals.