To Mars with ESA and the Guggenheim Bilbao

Chasmata at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

Chasmata at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

ESA and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, with the BBK Foundation, are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Spanish arts centre with a performance of Chasmata, a journey to Mars through contemporary art, music and architecture. Monday’s concert can be seen online starting at 18:30 GMT (20:30 CEST).

At the heart of the performance are the results and images from ESA’s Mars Express , which has been orbiting the planet since 2003. The concert also involves ESA astronauts Paolo Nespoli and Pedro Duque.

Projections of Mars have been provided by ESA, the Andalusian Institute of Astronomy in Spain, and the UK’s Imperial College and University of Leicester.

A wealth of information about Mars’ atmosphere and ionosphere are incorporated into six instrumental pieces by composers Ángel Arranz and José López-Montes.

Chasmata is an immersive experience featuring a message from Paolo Nespoli recorded on the International Space Station, and introduced by Pedro Duque.


Performing the six saxophone pieces are the Sigma Project Quartet and Het Nederlands Saxofoon Octet with Íńigo Ibaibarriaga as soloist. Additionally, 100 saxophonists from across the Basque Country will fill all three balconies in the Guggenheim’s atrium.

The audience will become part of the composition callingHiggs - a smartphone app will create a dynamic soundscape within the atrium.

Chasmata will allow the audience to experience Mars through its geology, music, visual arts and new technologies. The artwork has been inspired not only by the Red Planet but also through the architecture of Frank Gehry and the permanent sculptures on display such as Richard Serra’s A matter of time.

How to watch

The event is available to watch online from 18:30 GMT (20:30 CEST) on 9 October, via YouTube.