David le Viseur

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