Composer/conductor Joel Thome will construct musical bridges linking the sounds of East and West today when he and his ensemble World Sounds perform at the Baird Auditorium of the Natural History Museum at 4:30 p.m.

"The idea of World Sound came from the concept that it's important for a musician to be aware of world music and the cultures that make up the world," says Thome. "We live in a global universe. Therefore, the musician should not only be aware of different cultures but should also be aware of different instruments and be able to play those instruments."

Today's program features Thome's original suite, "Satyavan: Dream Twilight," inspired by a legend of "The Mahabharata," the sacred book of Indian lore. Musical instruments from India, China, Tibet, Africa, South America and Japan are used to tell the story of Savitri and her love for her husband Satyavan.

Painter Franc,oise Gilot designed the musicians' costumes and set of hanging fabric screens to create a visual and aural environment aimed at getting the "ear to see and the eye to hear."

Says Thome, "I hope audiences will be deeply moved by a rich musical experience and that they will hear music in a fresh way."