[ETA: I removed these tracks from SoundCloud – listen to the new rendering here]
I composed SUITE for SATURN using motives derived from global maps of the three moons of Saturn – Iapetus, Rhea, and Dione – I looked at in my research project for the NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) at the SETI Institute this summer. The latitudes of the craters were used to determine pitch, while longitudes determined note duration and beat.
The suite begins with a prelude and fugue for Iapetus in 7/4, which establish the modes for the piece as a whole. An adagio assai in 5/4 for Rhea follows, with an energetic finale “Train of Dione.” The suite closes with a reiteration of the prelude entitled “Farewell, all,” which incorporates figures from Rhea and Dione and ends in a new key.
This is my first “completed” multi-movement piece.