...THAT PALE BLUE DOT
Year of composition: 2018
[In memoriam of Carl Sagan]
Commissioned and dedicated to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of Galicia and its conductor, Paul Daniel.
Length: 3 minutes
Scored for: orchestra
Opus 22 - AA222018
First performance was given by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of Galicia, conducted by Paul Daniel at Galicia Concert Hall, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, April 20, 2018.
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Commissioned and dedicated to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of Galicia and its conductor, Paul Daniel. First performance was given by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of Galicia, conducted by Paul Daniel at Galicia Concert Hall, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, April 20, 2018. In memoriam of Carl Sagan.
When was 13, I wrote a "Concerto for strings" based entirely on the twelve-tone serialism, clearly influenced by the methods of Hauer and Schoenberg, altogether with a minor piece of purely folkloric nature, being (the last) even premiered by the students of the Professional Conservatory of Music "Manuel Quiroga" of Pontevedra, Spain. Both pieces were soon discarded, due to an obvious lack of maturity, relegating and/or focusing subsequently my entire catalogue to the wind orchestra literature. It was not until 2018 that a new opportunity came my way again, and it could not have been better than by the hand of my beloved Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of Galicia and its chief conductor, Paul Daniel. Having total creative freedom and with the only 'handicaps' of duration and subject, "...that pale blue dot" is configured as follows.
Starting from the subject of the commission, the Universe, and bearing in mind that the central piece of the program was the seven-movement orchestral suite by the English composer Gustav Holst, "The Planets" (1914-17), it was relatively simple to establish a correlation between both elements. In "The Planets", each movement of the suite is named after a planet of the Solar System and its supposed astrological character, with the exception of our planet Earth. Recall that Pluto had not been discovered at the time Holst composed "The Planets," and in any case, it was downgraded to "dwarf planet" classification in 2006. Having finally settled the subject of the composition, the idea of introduce a 'double-reading' soon arose, just as Holst had done using the astrology, but opting for a more scientific approach. The final result fell on the renowned quote by the also renowned astronomer Carl Sagan:
"From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it's different. Consider again that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there--on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam."
Carl Sagan, "Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space" (1994).
download it in PDF: Español - English.