14 July 2009

exastrisscientia: (Mr. Scott)

Title: Wanderers and Deities
Chapter: Mars, the Bringer of War
Genre: Gen
Rating: PG-13
Note: See the master post for author's notes.

Mars is written in 5/4 time (think the Mission: Impossible theme), and this contributes to the aggressive sound of the piece. It also opens with an eerie direction of col legno battuto, where the string players strike the string rather than drawing the bow across it. This generates the illusion of percussion that persists throughout the piece. Beware of tritones, because they are all over the place, and it should sound dissonant and grating to your ears.

Mars, the Bringer of War )
exastrisscientia: (Mr. Scott)
Title: Wanderers and Deities
Chapter: Venus, the Bringer of Peace
Genre: Gen
Rating: PG-13
Note: See the master post for author's notes.

Venus features one of the most beautiful oboe solos in the history of western music about halfway through. It is also a study in perfect fourths (ala Here Comes the Bride) and perfect fifths (think the Star Wars theme).

Venus, the Bringer of Peace )

 



exastrisscientia: (Mr. Scott)
Title: Wanderers and Deities
Chapter: Mercury, the Winged Messenger
Genre: Gen
Rating: PG-13
Note: See the master post for author's notes.

Mercury was the last piece to be composed. It alternates almost seamlessly between 3/4 and 6/8 time, and prominently features two rather rare instruments: the glockenspiel and the celesta.

Mercury, the Winged Messenger )

 


exastrisscientia: (Mr. Scott)
Title: Wanderers and Deities
Chapter: Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity
Genre: Gen
Rating: PG-13
Note: See the master post for author's notes.

Jupiter is perhaps the most famous movement from the symphony, and probably the one that most of you will recognize. One of its main directions is andante maestoso, which hints at its majestic undertones.

Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity )

 


exastrisscientia: (Mr. Scott)
Title: Wanderers and Deities
Chapter: Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age
Genre: Gen
Rating: PG-13
Note: See the master post for author's notes.

The first thing your should notice about Saturn is how lonely and anguished it sounds. This is due to augmented fourths, diminished fifths, and the dissonant ninth chord. The opening notes belong to an alto flute, and keep your ears sharp for the bass oboe! Both are very rare instruments that are featured in this piece.

Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age )

 


exastrisscientia: (Mr. Scott)
Title: Wanderers and Deities
Chapter: Uranus, the Magician
Genre: Gen
Rating: PG-13
Note: See the master post for author's notes.
N.B.: This chapter characterizes Orions with respect to Enterprise canon.

Uranus has been compared to The Sorcerer's Apprentice, as both generate a very similar sound. This is another piece that plays predominantly in 6/4 time.

Uranus, the Magician )

 

exastrisscientia: (Mr. Scott)
Title: Wanderers and Deities
Chapter: Neptune, the Mystic
Genre: Gen
Rating: PG-13
Note: See the master post for author's notes.

Like the opening piece, Mars, Neptune also plays in 5/4 time, though the two sound radically different. Neptune also has the distinction of relying heavily on a bi-tonal sound. The end features a female choir, traditionally placed in a room adjoining the stage. As they begin to sing, the door is slowly and gently closed, creating an illusion of a fade-out ending.

Neptune, the Mystic )
exastrisscientia: (Mr. Scott)
Title: Wanderers and Deities
Genre: Gen
Rating: PG-13
Note: Complete fic. This is a stylistic experiment. To get the full effect, I would suggest listening to each movement of The Planets while reading. The version I used while writing is from the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sir Colin Davis, but any version will do.

Summary: Impressions of the crew members of the Enterprise as told through Gustav Holst's symphony The Planets.

Mars, the Bringer of War
Venus, the Bringer of Peace
Mercury, the Winged Messenger
Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity
Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age
Uranus, the Magician
Neptune, the Mystic

I must conclude by saying that, in many ways, this fic was researched more thoroughly than some of my term papers! For curious souls, here is a list of sources that I tapped into for use with this fic.

Astrology and Modernism in "The Planets" by Raymond Head. This essay is amazing. It combines aspects of astrology with the intricacies of the music. Invaluable!

The Art of Synthesis by Alan Leo. This is the work that was Holst's biggest influence for composing the symphony. It is an amazing discussion on astrology and mythology.

The Planets - Suite for Large Orchestra. - Just like it says, this is a score for the symphony. It was amazing to actually see the music (especially with Mars). I relied on this for the musical direction, and used that to dictate the tempo of the writing. The musician inside me salivates when I look at this. :)

Holst: The Planets by Richard Greene. - He breaks down each movement to the individual measure and discusses time signature, instrumentation, chord progression, and other themes in Holst's work.

The Planets by Dava Sobel. Finally, something for the scientific side, though she does mention mythology as well.