This is nuts. With more than 62 vigintillion individual notes (that’s 62 with sixty-three zeros) this is the longest palindrome ever composed:
Composed by Daniel Starr-Tambor, this piece has been crafted to include the ‘musical signature’ of it’s author: the stereo imaging is arranged to reflect the exact position of the solar system at the moment of his birth, from the perspective of the Sun as it faces the constellation Libra, so that each note chronicles his birthday on every planet. In-fucking-sane.
Over the summer, I had begun to think about Mandala a little more and wondered if I could do Scriabin justice and figure out the actual ‘sound’ of the solar system with which to combine its rhythm. I revisited both ancient and modern philosophies and explorations into ‘Musica Universalis’ and the planetary pitches, but each theory seemed to draw upon relative distances and ratios within the heavens, which I found unconvincing. It was my belief that for actual sound to exist, there would have to be undeniable evidence of an organic sine wave pattern, and relative distance simply didn’t translate to that. It was while twisting an acorn between my fingers that I realized the surfaces of each planet move through space following the shape of a sine wave, because when the speed of revolution is faster than that of rotation, nothing ever circles ‘backwards’ as we might sometimes imagine. It was a very exciting time and the next three weeks were spent working on the math. It felt as though the patterns of the universe were beginning to unravel before me, and every day a new revelation presented itself, and every night I found myself dreaming in numbers! At times it was exhilarating, and at others it was excruciating, but by August 21 I had the notes of each planet calculated and recognized the parallels to JS Bach and his ‘Art of the Fugue’, which like Scriabin’s Mysterium, was left unfinished at the time of the composer’s death. I played the haunting nine-note chord on the piano, then wrote a letter to an old professor in which I outlined my intention to further uncover the sound and rhythms of the entire solar system, including its moons and beyond.