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People Top 5
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- September 30, 1996
- Vol. 46
- No. 14
From the Vastness of Space, a Little Traveling Music
In Her Words: "I want to bring back that fantastic feeling of looking up at the sky, because every time you do that, something beautiful happens."
Second Opinion: "She said she was an astrophysicist, and I said, 'Yeah, sure,' " recalls veteran jazz keyboard player Herbie Hancock of their first meeting in 1993. "But the more she talked, the more believable she sounded."
Vitals: Born in Milan; briefly studied opera; earned a doctorate in 1988 from the University of Milan. Unmarried, and lives in both Los Angeles and New York City.
Odyssey: In 1987, Terenzi collected radio-wave data from UGC 6697, a galaxy 180 million light-years away, then devised a computer program to translate the data into sound. Her debut CD is a montage of these cosmic noises mixed with synthesized violins and percussion. A tireless astronomy booster, she appears regularly in concert—using her galactic sounds as background—maintains a popular educational Web site and this year released her first CD-ROM, Invisible Universe, a widely praised guide to the galaxies.
Next Up: A second CD with sounds from Saturn, a 1997 book, an astronomy talk show on the Internet this fall.
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