Mars Symphony turns red planet science into music


timeThe roar of exploration rockets, the eerie sound of thin Martian winds, and the rumble of seismic Martian earthquakes: these sounds gleaned from the Red Planet will be fused with an orchestral performance in Boston this month at a premiere Mars Symphony. The new works aim to bring the excitement of space exploration to Earth and transform Martian science into art.

The work by composer David Ibbett had its first performance on June 27 at the Charles Hayden Planetarium (part of the Museum of Science, Boston), followed by performances on July 25 and August 29 There will be two more shows on the same day, followed by a national tour.

“I’m a classically trained composer, but I’ve always had a passion for science,” Ibbett said. “I think there’s an amazing feeling that a lot of musicians are tapping into right now.”

It blends human creativity with our inherent instinct to explore.

Mars Symphony Combining sound samples from Mars itself, melodies created from probe data, and original visuals from the Charles Hayden Planetarium. The symphony is composed of several movements representing different aspects of Mars exploration.

Sunrise over Tharsis is a musical interpretation of an imaginary flight over the Tharsis Mountains (Olympus, Arissa and Alba) at dawn, incorporating elements from the Mars Global Orbiter Data from an instrument called MOLA and a melody mathematically derived from the curvature of Mars. “Jezero Crater with Laurie Leshin” tells the story of the Perseverance rover’s search for life, including Martian winds recorded by the rover and seismic data from the InSight lander.

Sunrise over Tarsis: Imagine flying at dawn over the Tharsis Mountains – Olympus, Mount Arissa and Mount Alba. The melody of this movement is inspired by the curvature of the mountains from east to west.

Leshin, a planetary scientist and director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, provided voice clips for the piece’s narration. Like many projects in her lab, Mars Symphony Taking the Red Planet “from imagination to reality,” she said in an email. “It blends human creativity with our inherent instinct to explore.”

another movement in Mars Symphonycalled the “twin world of water”, A fusion of water sounds from Earth that recall the ancient but now-vanished oceans of Mars; and one, the “Otis Peak Sample Core,” which is based on an “ultrasonic treatment” of a Jezero Crater core sample that has been Collected by the Perseverance rover and eventually returned to Earth. The Otis Peak sample is the first to be taken from “conglomerate” rock, which is composed of sand, silt, clay and pebbles. The movement uses strings, brass and wind instruments to dramatize the way different rock fragments are squeezed together by ancient waters on Mars.

To Mars: It’s a musical celebration of the heroic mission to Mars that one day we may get a personal visit to. Listen to the drum sound created by rocket samples recorded during the first launch of SpaceX’s Starship.

The concert is part of the Multiverse Concert Series, which began a few years ago with a performance at the Black Hole Symphony Planetarium and blends electronic and orchestral music with 3D planetarium visuals. Each performance in the Multiverse Concert Series is informed by scientific teams from NASA and the Center for Astrophysics (a joint operation of Harvard University and the Smithsonian Institution).

LAURIE Leshin’s Jezero Crater: Laurie Leshin, director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, tells the story of the Perseverance Mars rover’s mission to search for life and its core samples. In the background, we can hear the actual sounds of Martian winds and dust storms recorded by Perseverance’s microphones, as well as seismic data from the InSight lander.

in addition black hole symphonyIbet’s past works include cell dance— 2019 ballet themed on cellular movement — and octave of light, His album based on exoplanet research was published in 2020.

OTIS PEAK Sample Core: The sonification of one of the most exciting core samples collected by Perseverance will one day return to Earth. Otis Peak is a fascinating mixture of clasts (fragments of rock broken by weathering) from different sources in Jezero Crater, which were compacted together by ancient seawater. The strings play silver tones, the brass plays black tones, the tam tam plays gray tones, and the winds play brown tones. We scan the sample clockwise like the hands of a clock, with higher pitches on the edges and lower pitches in the center.

To the fans, Ibet Mars Symphony remember planetIbet said that this is a famous orchestral suite composed by the British composer Gustav Horst, the first movement of which is called “Mars, Bringer of War.” Holst wrote this in the early 20th century, inspired by the looming prospect of World War I. Mars SymphonyIbbett said his piece is titled “March to Mars,” although the focus of the new symphony is actually the science of discovery.

He hopes listeners will hear exciting stories of planetary exploration in the music. “There is so much complex and beautiful science and knowledge being taught to us,” Ibbett said, “that we can use music to highlight these natural wonders.”

Lead photo by Spencer Butterfield, SRB Photography

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