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Carmen of the Spheres

 

 

"You are looking at "Carmen of the Spheres" for nine sine waves totalling 64 minutes 12.246 seconds for stereo speakers.

 This is my attempt at a solely rational approach to the "Harmony of the Spheres".

 by Greg Fox (July 31, 2006)

 

The piece attempts to aurally model the solar system as accurately as possible whilst making a piece of music of CD length.

 

Method

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Orbital data from Wikipedia was taken for each of the (then) nine planets of the solar system.

The orbital period was halved repeatedly so that, according to the octave principle in acoustics, frequencies could be derived which would be octave-equivalent to the planetary orbits but audible to humans.

 

Implementation

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Each planet yielded six audible frequencies (all octave-equivalent) and, at longer lengths (fewer halvings) six musically meaningful durations.

Rather than produce a static model, which would just be a chord, I decided to use each of the frequencies and durations in turn for each planet.

This means that for a given 'planet' in this model, the melodic form is broadly a semibreve in the bass followed by a minim in the tenor, a crotchet in the alto and so on, with each successive note being an octave higher and half the duration of the previous one.

 

All the planets are presented simultaneously. This means that the various melodies are layered to produce non-overlapping patterns, always slightly different.

 

 

This audio is part of the collection: Open Source Audio

 

Artist/Composer: Greg Fox

Date: 2006-07-31

 

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