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The Mass Media

Explore Space with Coldplay

The+Museum+of+Science+opens+new+Coldplay+show+in+Charles+Hayden+Planetarium.+Photo+by+Eva+Lycette+%28She%2FHer%29+%2F+Mass+Media+Staff.

The Museum of Science opens new Coldplay show in Charles Hayden Planetarium. Photo by Eva Lycette (She/Her) / Mass Media Staff.

Coldplay is known for the way their music takes people on a journey. From the lyricism to the instruments, messages and vocals, Coldplay’s music is often described as being “space rock,” or ambient. Recently, the Museum of Science opened a series of planetarium shows in their Charles Hayden Planetarium, presenting music “in an entirely new way” (1).
Among these shows are the: “God, Science, and Our Search for Meaning,” “Explore the Universe,” “Laser Floyd,” “The Prince Experience,” “The Rihanna Experience” and lastly, “The Coldplay Experience.”
Their website explains that The Coldplay Experience was “developed as a part of SubSpace Project, the experimental playground for new work at the Museum of Science, this musical experience engages audiences in a sensory journey full of innovation, artistry, and imagination set to the pulsating soundtrack of an internationally renowned band.”
The experience is described as “a fusion of Coldplay’s alternative sounds with stunning and inventive visuals under the Charles Hayden Planetarium dome.” These shows are featured on Friday and Saturday nights with a duration of approximately 50 minutes (1).
Upon arrival to the Charles Hayden Planetarium, a line is formed outside the theater which projects a beautiful image. The dome showcases a fusion of purples and pinks, depicting the flower of life—the same symbol used on their A Head Full of Dreams” album.
The flower of life represents “the unity of all life and the interconnectedness of all beings. (2) This rings true throughout Coldplay’s music and presents itself in the wide range of faces that showed up for the planetarium show. College students, high school students, couples—both young and old—a few families and adults were all present to attend this show.
Once the show commenced, every song played was accompanied by imagery unique to that specific song, taking the audience on a trip through space, through a desert, and on a journey of colors and lights. The majority of the songs played were Coldplay’s more “space adjacent” songs, with UFO, “Atlas” and A Sky Full of Stars” being among the setlist.
Their songs Clocks and The Scientist” were also played, however, the segment for “Viva La Vida is the one that has stuck in memory the most. To sit in the planetarium, hearing this song loudly resound from the surrounding speakers was nearly entrancing. Watching the lights and various colors flash across the screen provoked great emotions akin to those one could only feel when watching Coldplay perform live or in special cases, their Buenos Aires and River Plate concerts showcased in the cinemas. Aside from the music itself, visuals play a very important role in how the music is felt.
A student at UMass Boston spoke to this, saying, “For me, I really like stories that come in all formswritten word, songs, films, plays, illustrations. So, when it comes to visuals accompanying songs, they can work together to bring a new perspective and a new life to whatever story the song is telling, which makes the experience of the song so much more powerful for me. Having visuals to work in tandem with music makes experiencing the song more immersive.”
Music and visuals go hand in hand, and there was great intention with what images were presented during each song. To go back to the experience with “Viva La Vida,” seeing bright splashes of color and tunnels of light while lyrics such as “Be my mirror, my sword and shield / Never an honest word / But that was when I ruled the world” play throughout the theater expanded the power the song already held. A phrase meaning “long live life” is brought to life with images that make the audience feel alive. The show greatly brought all the Coldplay songs in the set list alive and anyone who may know Coldplay casually or further will greatly enjoy the Planetarium experience.

  1. https://www.mos.org/planetarium/the-coldplay-experience
  2. https://dailydish.co.uk/the-flower-of-life-an-introduction-to-sacred-geometry/