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Archimedes, a planetarium opera (2007)
James Dashow

Contributed by "William E. Emba"

Opera, as in people singing and music playing, and not the usual Latin for "works".

James Dashow has been scripting, composing, and recording Archimedes, a "planetarium opera" for the past ten years. It's to be an opera whose orchestral portion is to be 100% computer generated. Individual scenes have been staged, and DVD is available for some of them. Based on his outline of what's completed so far, it seems to be nearing completion.

The plot is the biography of Archimedes. Mathematical content is present, including the famous Eureka bathtub scene.

Dashow is a leading electronic composer. He is also into mathematics. One of his pieces is "First Tangent to the Given Curve". I have no idea how the music could be said to have "mathematical" content, above and beyond the usual sense all music has mathematical content. Then again, I know nothing about this piece beyond its title.

More information about this work can be found at
(Note: This is just one work of mathematical fiction from the list. To see the entire list or to see more works of mathematical fiction, return to the Homepage.)

Works Similar to Archimedes, a planetarium opera
According to my `secret formula', the following works of mathematical fiction are similar to this one:
  1. The Sand-Reckoner by Gillian Bradshaw
  2. The Death of Archimedes by Karel Capek
  3. Emilie by Kaija Saariaho (composer) / Amin Maalouf (libretto)
  4. The Limit by Freya Smith / Jack Williams
  5. Love Counts by Michael Hastings (libretto) / Michael Nyman (score)
  6. Dead Ancients Trilogy by Peter Hobbs
  7. Pythagoras the Mathemagician by Karim El Koussa
  8. Newton's Hooke by David Pinner
  9. Calculus (Newton's Whores) by Carl Djerassi
  10. Hypatia by Mac Wellman
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GenreHistorical Fiction,
MotifReal Mathematicians,

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(Maintained by Alex Kasman, College of Charleston)