Does world end Dec. 21? Find out at South Florida Museum, Bradenton

wtatangelo@bradenton.comDecember 4, 2012 

BRADENTON -- The world ends Dec. 21, 2012.

Yep, that's the final date of the 5125-year-long cycle in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar used by the Maya.

But Mayan scholars, at least the one who will be at South Florida Museum in Bradenton on Wednesday, say we don't need to worry about the "2012 phenomenon."

This month, South Florida Museum will host two Mayan-themed events to put the December 2012 "End of the World" myth into context. From 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, research scholar at New College of Florida and noted Mayan expert Dr. Gabriele Vail, and Director of the Bishop Planetarium Jeff Rodgers, will spend the evening discussing the Mayan myth and putting it into context.

"Gabrielle Vail is one of the world's most respected Mayan scholars, so we couldn't ask for a better perspective on what the Mayan calendar really has to say about the end of the world," Rodgers said in a statement issued by the museum.

On Dec. 15 from 7 to 8 p.m., the museum will host another program "2012: The Return of the Goddess." It's a listening experience composed by artist Paul Ramshaw who was inspired by myths surrounding the Mayan calendar and ripples of gravitational waves predicted by the Theory of Relativity.

The ambient musical arrangements will be accompanied by subtle, complimentary graphics projected on the Planetarium dome.

"Paul Ramshaw's work has earned international acclaim. With '2012: The Return of the Goddess,' Paul has created an evocative blend of art, science and culture that captures the expanse of time and mythical cycles of rebirth," Rodgers said in a statement.

"It is a uniquely impactful work that invites both introspection and connection with the grand scales of the cosmos."

Ramshaw noted it's an experimental piece.

"The 'music' you will hear has not been created using a conventional scoring of notes and instruments, but by 'reorganizing' the sound (timbre) of samples of operatic and choral voices within different frameworks of time, with a conceptual input inspired by the myths surrounding the Mayan calendar and 2012," Ramshaw said in a statement.

Tickets to the Dec. 15 event are also $10.

Information: 941-746-4131 or www.southfloridamuseum.org.

Wade Tatangelo, features writer/columnist, can be reached at 941-745-7057. Follow Twitter.com/wtatangelo.

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