Updated: Jun 25
Wednesday's story features a wind dance at Titan's equatorial region.
At the edge of Titan's Sand dunes Credit: NASA Cassini
At times it's refreshing to showcase the orchestra, away from the choir, to let them have the spotlight. Today's discussion demonstrates that idea in a passage from Titan that evokes a wind dance and features orchestral colours and textures at play.
And what fired the imagination for this next musical excerpt is Dr Ralph Lorenz's description of the interaction of wind in the equatorial region that influences the dunes to produce a unique pattern.
He described the formation of these dunes as a result of a particular wind regime that flips between two dominant directions, kind of like an interpretive ｄａｎｃｅ.
Quote from Libretto
“𝗧𝗶𝘁𝗮𝗻 𝘄𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝘄𝗶𝗻𝗱𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗶𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗽𝗹𝗮𝘆”
With my former background as a pianist with the Australian ballet company in 2000, when I heard the dunes described this way, I knew it would be a beautiful balletic moment to fuse a ｄａｎｃｅ element into Titan's symphonic story.
So I created an interlude, a passage for the orchestra to dance in delicate tune to replicate grain particles frolicking and dancing on Titan's dunes. It provides a moment to enjoy the individual sounds of woodwind instruments accompanying this sequence;
Sand Dunes - winds blowing in reverse of the Prevailing weather Credit: NASA/JPL
It also felt important to create a "sea change" in musical texture since this interlude follows the dramatic "Sea of Sand Dunes" chorus, which was a thick, homophonic surprise moment from choir. For more information on that story, see Day 2 of Titan.
So to contrast to that previous section, the orchestra bursts into a light capricious theme to emulate the flipping and flopping, tossing and turning of the equatorial winds dancing the dunes of Titan.
The 40 second video below transports you to experience the tones, textures and tunes from Titan.
III - Movement ＴＩＴＡＮ
Excerpt - “Longitudinal dance of the Equatorial winds”