Antony Cooke's passion for both astronomy and music was clear from an early age, although it was music that ultimately claimed his career. As solo cellist he has played and recorded worldwide. He was also a professor of music at Northwestern University in Chicago. Presently, he is a prominent Hollywood studio musician, as well as a composer for prime time television. However, it has often been said that science and music go hand in hang. With applied and theoretical astronomy never being far behind, he has pursued it as a serious avocation. As an observer always looking for ways to improve his experience at the eyepiece, Cooke has constructed many telescopes over the years. Increasing apertures were always the hallmark of his often-quirky designs. Finding that the 18-inch aperture of his present telescope was still insufficient to deliver the kind of performance he had in mind, he experimented with newer technologies to bring these elusive goals ever closer. Successful viewing of dark objects requires great contrast. In this respect, some of the newer equipment has proven to be invaluable, enabling dramatic viewing of many dark objects and features in real time and without the need of CCD imaging. As an author of astronomy books, Cooke also has written Visual Astronomy in the Suburbs (Springer, 2003), Visual Astronomy under Dark Skies (Springer, 2005), and Make Time for the Stars (Springer, 2009). With Dark Nebulae, Dark Lanes and Dust Belts, his astronomical writings continue.