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Lunar orbit : for cello solo

by Stuart Greenbaum (2011)

Score Sample

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Audio Sample

Performance by Ashley Brown from the CD 800 million heartbeats

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Lunar orbit


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Lunar orbit : for cello solo / Stuart Greenbaum.

Library shelf no. 787.4/GRE 5 [Available for loan]

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Work Overview

This work for solo cello is in some ways a companion piece to my percussion quartet, Sea of Tranquility (2004) in that they are both concerned with the Moon. While the material is different, both works also share a triple-time groove, albeit in different tempi.

In the case of Lunar Orbit (2011), I spent some time contemplating the 1969 Apollo 11 mission (that first landed human beings on the Moon) from two perspectives. Firstly, that of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, who after landing successfully on the Moon and having done the required 'field trip' (collecting rocks etc.) were then required to sleep before taking off again. This they found impossible, achieving at best a fitful rest in the frigid lander vehicle. Aldrin famously described his impression of the Moon as "magnificent desolation".

And secondly, the experience of Michael Collins who remained aboard the command module Columbia in orbit of the moon while Armstrong and Aldrin were on the surface. He experienced unprecedented isolation, not being able to communicate with Earth or even his fellow astronauts while orbiting the so-called 'dark' side of the Moon.

This solo cello work, cast in arch form, is somehow a contemplation of all that and is written for and dedicated to Auckland cellist, Ashley Brown.

Work Details

Year: 2011

Instrumentation: Cello.

Duration: 5 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Dedication note: Dedicated to Ashley Brown

Written for: Ashley Brown

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