In the midst of all the bad news in the world, it’s both good and necessary to be reminded that we all live together on a tiny little marble in an unfathomably large universe.
Ambient music is often a love letter to the cosmos. It’s important to listen to the universe’s love letters to us as well; the music of the spheres really does exist, and we are learning to hear it.
Images on the video broadcast are from NASA files, from the Hubble Space Telescope and other deep-space observation programs.
“Postcards from Cassini” – Tim Kays (unreleased, 2016)
This fascinating track is a ‘treated’ excerpt of the magnetosphere of Saturn, as recorded, translated and transmitted by the Cassini probe.
The track will appear on one of the three albums on Aural Films entitled Reliquiae Sibilus (Book I, II or III), though there is not yet a release date for the project.
Tim mentions that the initial inspiration for ‘Postcards from Cassini’ came from the incredible deep space photography of his friend Bill Schlosser who, Tim says, has a gift for seeing what many others don’t…then taking its picture.
“Dreamtime” – Kuutana – Deep Space Lullabies (2016)
For this track, Kuutana simply wanted to create his own lullaby, something to help him doze off! Now he listens to it every night to go to sleep.
“Muzikhala – Part I (The Aeronaut)” – Michael Brückner – Muzikhala (2016)
“Muzikhala” is the Chichewa word for serenity. Chichewa is a language that is spoken in Zambia and Malawi, two countries in South Central Africa.
One possible definition of “serenity” is: the absence of mental stress or anxiety. And then of course, there is the word’s resemblance to “music” and “musical”
During the creation of “Muzikhala”, a kind of “storyline” gradually took shape. Although it is likely a different story for every listener, there is a dramaturgy unfolding across the album; the tracks relate to each other and there are different interconnecting elements.
For this reason Michael recommends listening to the entire suite at least once in the original running order. Otherwise, you might miss part of the idea…
“Nebula Suite” – Playman54 – Nebula Suite (2016)
Playman54, aka Colin Blake, harbors a love of all things space. This suite is the second track on the Nebula Suite album, in three parts for three of what he considers to be the most beautiful nebulae:
The Final Note
The world seems to be going crazy. Bad news is everywhere, violence is all over the media, and people are desperately hanging on to their crumbling belief systems — and their humanity — in the midst of heartbreaking strife.
Belief systems built up over lifetimes, over generations of lifetimes, are how people identify themselves to themselves and to each other. When belief is such a fundamental part of one’s identity, maintaining that belief is critical.
Now those belief systems are falling apart, and as they do, so are the people who hold them.
The human race made a critical error millennia ago, when its members decided that men were more important than women, that light skin was more important than dark skin, that one religion was more important than others, that humans were more important than animals and the environment.
But the fact is that we are completely and irrevocably interdependent. Without every other human, without every other component of life on this planet, we cannot live. No single person or group is better than another, and the consolidation of personal or cultural power is a shallow and shortsighted use of individual and collective energy. It is all for naught if we kill ourselves and each other in the process.
With only a few rare and brilliant exceptions, human culture has arisen around fear — fear of predators, fear of nature, fear of other tribes, fear of the unknown, fear of having less power than someone else, fear of one’s own thoughts.
To the extent that we should fear at all, I believe that we fear all the wrong things. The point of today’s program is to make us look beyond our petty concerns, to recognize that all we have is each other. We’re on a tiny little ship together, spinning alone amidst a sea of stars.
Our ship is sinking. The only way we can survive is by working together to patch the holes, to look each other in the eyes and fully recognize the humanity in all of us, and to understand our place here — inextricably part of, not separate from, the nature in which we live, and the people with whom we share that nature.