The Astrodome complex is every bit a Texan undertaking. Built on a converted Texas swamp, it rises 206 feet high, high enough to contain an 18 story building. The 18 story Shamrock Hilton Hotel in Houston could be laid on its side and turned end to end three times in any direction without hitting the Astrodome walls.
Inside, whatever you may be watching, you will be comfortable. Under a translucent ceiling with 4,596 skylights, in a controlled temperature of 72 F., wafted by a perpetual one mile an hour wind, and cushioned in opera-type seats, the spectator finds himself in a more pleasant atmosphere than his own living room.
The Astrodome was conceived and built by judge Ray M. Hofheinz. They say the only time he sleeps is when there's nothing else to do. The Judge was a lawyer at 19, a member of the Texas legislature at 22, and a county judge by the age of 24. Between 1946 and 1953 he managed to become a multi-millionaire through the help of Texas land and oil. In 1960, judge Hofheinz undertook the coordination of the mammoth Astrodomain project.
Everything from Bob Hope to a bullfight has been seen in the Astrodome. Now, with the entire Dome wired for planetary communication via radio, television and satellite, the story of the Astrodome reaches its climax by hosting the commencement ceremonies for the Millennium.
Composer - Erika Anderson
The Oratorio is an attempt to capture the divine essence of each member of the Holy Family and render it in sound. It is a powerful work which interweaves a full orchestra with narration from the world's scriptures and a sixty voice international chorus.
Strings and horns introduce Mata Ji, and her fugue is accompanied by a text from the Tao Te Ching: "Something mysteriously formed, born before heaven and earth, in the silence and the void, alone and unchanging; I do not know its Name; I call it Tao."
A steady and clear trumpet solo portrays Bal Bhagwan Ji, while Raja Ji is depicted through the use of strings, horns and flute and the narration of "Born to be King."
Brass instruments call forth the divine nature of Bhole Ji. From the Upanishads comes the text, "Concealed in the heart of all men is Atman…. Behold the glory of Atman."
Every instrument is used for the majestic development of the theme of Guru Maharaj Ji. Simultaneously, the chorus creates a pyramid of music to a text from St. John: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth."
The writing of the Oratorio was the result of two seemingly unrelated visions. Shortly after receiving Knowledge from Guru Maharaj Ji, Erika Anderson, a composer and classical musician, heard the beginnings of a choral work in her head as she was meditating. "Energy seemed to just flow through me, coming out as music."
Two thousand miles away, Rennie Davis, general coordinator of MILLENNIUM '73, heard a choir singing within him during meditation. He decided that an oratorio on the Holy Family should be written for MILLENNIUM '73.
Shortly after she began work on the chorale, Erika came to Houston to re-score the music for Krishna Lila. Rennie explains, "This is one of those coincidences that make Divine Light Mission run. I wanted an oratorio and had no one to write it. Erika had the music and no one to sing it. It seems we came together in the same place and time, just so that the Oratorio could happen."