The Making of Tour of the Solar System
Audio Universe: Tour of the Solar System has evolved significantly over the two years from the inception of the idea to the final product. Audience feedback, particularly from the BVI community, has been very valuable for us to learn and create an accessible, educational, and enjoyable planetarium show. Below is a short (4:40) documentary documenting that journey and a discussion of some of the lessons learnt along the way.
The Pilot Show
Our new show was preceded by a pilot BVI-accessible show called ‘Dark Tour of the Universe.’ This 1 hour show explained astronomical objects and phenomena using a combination of narration, sonifications and tactile models. It was made in collaboration with our sister project, Tactile Universe. Visuals were intentionally excluded. We considered this an overall success with positive feedback, including from qualified teachers of children and young people with a visual impairment (QTVIs). One of which commented: “It was so good to be the focus of a presentation, rather than an ‘add on’ with adapted resources or being part of something that isn't wholly accessible” (Rachel Lambert, Newcastle Vision Team). However, three lessons that we learnt were:
The Creation of Audio Universe: Tour of the Solar System
Building on our pilot, we set out to create a 35 minute audio-visual show about the Solar System that would be an enjoyable and educational experience from the soundtrack alone. The show was to be created in both full-dome planetarium format (with surround sound) and in flatscreen format (with stereo sound). Here we outline our design approach and our lessons learnt.
Concept and Design Approach: