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The names of Mars : for chamber choir

by Michael Knopf (2013)

names of Mars


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The names of Mars : for chamber choir / Michael Knopf.

Library shelf no. 782.55542/KNO 1 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

The Names of Mars was inspired by events in the Mars trilogy by esteemed science fiction author Kim Stanley Robinson. The trilogy outlines the development of human inhabitation of our neighboring planet over the span of several centuries from first colonization to a fully terra-formed environment. Many of the characters in the novels, like various aerological features of Mars are named using the many names for the red-planet from Earth's historical and cultural heritage. In the books, signal events in the history of this evolving community were often marked by the singing of the names of Mars in different languages. It is these ideas that formed the concept for this choral work.

The Names of Mars was written in support of the idea of humanity pushing its outer limits. It is acknowledged that humanity has much to do inwardly as well to make a true civilization here on Earth, let alone another world. But such efforts do not preclude the ongoing exploration of our solar system. This is part of those efforts along with other advances in the sciences, the arts and in human relations.

Mars One is an independent humanity initiative aiming to establish a permanent colony on Mars in the year 2023. In supporting this vision (a non-sectarian and non-aligned undertaking), I hope to have this work video recorded to draw attention to the vision of the project.

Work Details

Year: 2013

Instrumentation: For 8 part Chamber Choir 16-24 voices

Duration: 6 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — Some complex harmonies; polyphonic textures (8 voices); few range challenges; requires stamina

Pronunciation used in the composition. Al-Qahira – Arabic for Vanquisher/Conqueror (al ga hee ra) Ares – Greek (ay reez) Auqakuh - Quechua (Inca) Bahram – Persian (Bah rom) aspirate the ‘h’ Harmakhis - Ancient Egyptian 9har maa (as in mom) khees) Her Desher - Egyptian Hrad - Armenian Huo Shing – Chinese 火星 Kasei – Japanese (Kaa saaee) Labou - French Ma'adim – Hebrew (Maa’ aa dim) Maja – Nepali (Maajaa) Mamers – Oscan (Italian pronunciation Mangala – Sanskrit (Italian ah vowel) Marte – Spanish (maar tay) Mawrth – Welsh (mouth) Nirgal – Babylonian (ner gaal) Shalbatana – Akkadian (shall bat a na) Simud – Sumerian (seemood) Tiu - Old English - West Germanic (tee oo)

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