Galaxy on Glass Music
I am delighted to have collaborated with musician and composer Rob Northcott. Rob has composed a 40-minute ambient music album inspired by my Galaxy on Glass deep space images.
Customers of my art receive a download card for the album so they can look at the art and listen to the music! You can get a taste of the music for free here:
Chris’ spectacular photographs of space perfectly blend science and art – they are informative, educational and enlightening as studies of astronomy, but also inspiring and enjoyable to look at as beautiful imagery. We agreed that a musical accompaniment to these images could be conceived in the same way, taking inspiration from the universe around us whilst applying some science to create something that is enjoyable to listen to but ultimately in keeping with the aesthetic Chris has been able to convey.
As Earth-roving creatures, we have an unusual perception of ‘the sound of space’ which has mainly been created by sci-fi movies and their unusual soundtracks. One thing on which we can all agree is that the universe is very large and has evolved over billions of years, and it is this sense of scale that has led to some very deep, slow-moving and expansive pieces of space-inspired music over the years – the ‘Galaxy on Glass’ composition is my contribution to this specialist genre.
As well as using beautiful vintage synthesizer sounds and a host of reverb effects to create a sense of calm and scale, I was also able to incorporate actual sounds of space captured by NASA. Lightning storms on Jupiter, a comet shooting by, winds on Mercury and even the sounds of rocket engines have all been sonically manipulated and woven into the music.
There are many pulses in the music – chords and sounds that steadily repeat – inspired by the cyclic motions of planets as they continually orbit around the sun. Additional musical twinkles and seemingly random textures represent our fascination with stars or the passing of a comet. Later sections of the piece become darker and more foreboding – space is a hostile and tempestuous place, after all – and these are largely created by a stunning performance on a gong. Overall, I tried to convey a sense of journey and movement to accompany Chris’ photos, and I hope to enjoy both art forms simultaneously will allow one’s imagination to be taken further into the beautiful unknown.