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