Photo: Michael Bisbee
This distance makes us feel closer
October 18, 2013 - 5:00pm - 11:59pm

This distance makes us feel closer is an immersive, mountaintop sound work at the Magdalena Ridge Observatory in New Mexico. The work is performed by a set of custom-built, autonomous instruments that resound over vast stretches of land surrounding the ridge at 10,600 feet.  

View video documentation of This distance makes us feel closer.

A central group of listeners will gather at dusk, sip hot tea, and experience spacious and faraway tones resounding across the landscape; morse code derived from local oral histories and astrological data gathered by the observatory.

This special performance is naturally inclusive, inviting listeners to hang out and notice sounds, sights, smells, greater landscape that stretches out from our perch in the high-desert. The remote and high-elevation site will give a great view of the Very Large Array below, surrounding mountains, the setting sun, and the coming night.

Come join us on the ridge at dusk, looking down on the Very Large Array and surrounding mountains while far away tones call out through the high-desert landscape.

When + Where do things happen?

October 18, 2013, New Mexico Magdalena Ridge Observatory

5:00 to 6:00 - Tour the 2.4 meter telescope

6:00 to 7:00 - This distance makes us feel closer
7:00 into the night - Stargazing and conversation
What do I bring?

Please bring warm clothes, walking shoes, and some water. You are welcome to bring a blanket, picnic foods, or your dog. Please do not bring your cat, or alcohol; they will not be permitted at the event because of the altitude.
How do I get there?

To get to the observatory, drive south on I-25 and take I-60W (exit 150) at Socorro. Drive through town and after 14 miles, make a left onto Water Canyon Rd. At the end of the paved road, make a left into the campground and follow the gravel road up the mountain 8 miles. It will take approximately 1’30” to get to Water Canyon and another 30” – 45” to drive the 8 miles up to the observatory. We strongly recommend using a 4WD vehicle.

Looking to camp?
There is no overnight camping allowed at the Observatory, but check out the Water Canyon Campground at the base of the mountain.  There are also two small hunting motels in Magdalena, and many options in Socorro.
About the Magdalena Ridge Observatory
The Magdalena Ridge Observatory (MRO) is located on 1,000 acres at 10,600 feet in the Magdalena Mountains of the Cibola National Forest in Socorro County, New Mexico (NM). This multi-use research and educational observatory is built and operated by the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (NMT) with offices located on the NMT campus in Socorro, NM.

For more information and to RSVP (recommended), please visit:


Special thanks to the Magdalena Ridge Observatory, Michael Bisbee, and Catherine DeMaria.