Exper­i­men­tal Music, 2019

In a Har­vard Astron­o­my lec­ture about the famous Exo-Plan­et sys­tem Trappist‑1, I learned that its 7 plan­ets orbit their host star in a res­o­nance pat­tern of 24:15:9:6:4:3:2. Inspired by this, I trans­lat­ed the pat­tern as lit­er­al­ly as pos­si­ble into a short bit of music. Both the time and tone inter­vals match the plan­ets’ orbital pat­tern. Start­ing at A0 for the slow­est & low­est planet/note, one note every 24 16ths at 60BPM. The next one repeats every 15 16ths and 24 semi­tones high­er – and so forth for all sev­en. Plus, the pan­ning of each voice rough­ly cor­re­sponds to the plan­et’s orbital posi­tion & path. Tak­en togeth­er, his cre­ates an inter­est­ing polyrhyth­mic pat­tern with some intrigu­ing psy­choa­coustic effects (both rhyth­mic and har­mon­ic) that occur, if you mute one voice after the oth­er.

Image Cred­it: NASA Ames Research Cen­ter