Nouveau Papillon

Mark Bensette Aux Bois and Hildi Thelen comprise Phoenix-based Nouveau Papillon.

Phoenix-based Nouveau Papillon is teaming up with the Mesa Community College Planetarium,  to present VisionSphere, “a live musical experience with full-dome visualizations,” beginning April 26 and running through May 18.

The hour-long show promises “striking visualizations” accompanied by live New Age instrumental music from Nouveau Papillon.   

VisionSphere shows consist of 11 “immersive voyages, including angels gliding through the heavens, panoramic exploration of deep caves, fractal art and steam-punk images, mystical realm of the wolf and other wildlife and nature indigenous to Arizona,” according to a release.

As each experience concludes, a portal appears to guide the audience to the next destination as a new song begins. The visuals are created to align with the live music.

Nouveau Papillon are international recording artists whose live performance in the planetarium will include music from their current and upcoming albums.  

Mark Bensette Aux Bois, on electric harp and 6 and 12-string acoustic/electric guitars, and Hildi Thelen, on Native American-style flutes, create a unique presentation.

Their second CD, “Enchantment Blooms,” released in December 2018, was nominated for Album of the Year by One World Music, Europe’s No. 1 streaming station.

They describe their collaboration as one of “powerful instrumental imagery that transcends traditional New Age music, as it is constantly evolving.”

To enhance the audience experience, the dome’s perimeter has changing hues with each selection.

This presentation was designed specifically for the Evans & Sutherland Digistar planetarium system, programmed by Kevin Healy, MCC planetarium director and produced by the Nouveau Papillon design team, headed by Ed Capps.

If You Go

What: VisionSphere

Where: Mesa Community College Planetarium, 1833 W. Southern Ave., Mesa.

When:  7 p.m. and 9 p.m., April 26-27; 5 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., May 11; 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., May 17; 5 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., May 18.

Tickets:  $20, includes digital download of Nouveau Papillon’s CD, “Enchantment Blooms.”

Info:, 480-461-7015


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