Updated: Jun 25
Saturday, we turn to the literature of Shakespeare to introduce majestic Miranda and share the first chapter of an idea birthed while exploring her devastated world …
The second chapter of this idea becomes revealed in the grand finale Movement - Earthrise, a moon that crowns the revelation.
Miranda. Moon of Uranus, 19.8 AU from the sun. Credit: NASA's eyes
We are 19.8 astronomical units from the sun. We have departed the dreamy, romantic scenes of Enceladus and Saturn and arrived at another ring system, the realm of gas giant Uranus. Miranda's parent planet and planetary prison where she has indeed served her time.
Discovered by Dutch astronomer Gerard Kuiper in 1948, Miranda is the furthermost moon featured in this symphony.
Before continuing the story of Miranda, I wanted to share a question I often get asked;
"What's your favorite moon?"
An inevitable question, but at the same time, I feel like a mother who's asked to choose her favorite child, and I manage a reply preferring to replace the word favorite with empathetic.
Miranda is named after the only female character from the Shakespearean play "The Tempest". A name most appropriate since this complicated, bizarre world appeared to tell a story that rivaled the drama of its namesake.
John William Waterhouse (1849–1917), Miranda—The Tempest. 1916
I was entranced. But the allure was more profound than just her exotic topography, which is the strangest in the solar system. I felt a powerful emotional undercurrent pulsating from this world, its tragedy, a story begging to be told from this devastated moon far, far, away.
And it's interesting to note that despite Miranda's cosmic fate, locked in "Uranus' prison gate", she was able to help me in my journey with this symphony. Miranda gave me a key that helped unlock a powerful story told at Earth-Moon.
The giant blue force ruling fate
Years locked in its prison gate
And so, our symphonic Saturday begins by exploring Miranda's canvas and starts on a majestic chord that signals the magnificent monument that she is famous for, her monolithic site.
However, the music that proceeds, while bright and hopeful, slowly becomes calmer, cadenced with question marks. A sense of caution slowly begins to fill the musical atmosphere ever so slightly with tinges of terror and whiffs of warning…
Majestic Music for Miranda V Movement - Opening Excerpt
Dur: 1:00 minute