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Suspended in a Sunbeam : (Thoughts on the "Pale Blue Dot" as photographed by Voyager 1)

by Richard Charlton (2019)

Work Overview

To be mentioned in any verbal Introduction:-

Nearly 30 years ago, Voyager 1 looked back toward Earth and saw a 'pale blue dot,' an image that continues to inspire wonderment about this spot we call home.

The image of Earth contains scattered light that resembles a beam of sunlight, which is an artefact of the camera itself and makes the tiny Earth appear even more dramatic.

The spacecraft was more than 6 billion kilometres from home and after taking that photo headed on into Interstellar space.

Work Details

Year: 2019

Instrumentation: Guitar, with narration.

Duration: 7 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — some speaking while playing can be included

Dedication note: Dedicated to Karin Schaupp

Commission note: Commissioned by Karin Schaupp.

First performance: by Karin Schaupp — 30 Jun 19. Carlton Theatre, Carlyle Gardens, Townsville QLD

The piece can be played as a guitar solo but the original intention is for the performer to speak the words as written in the score. The text is by the composer but is greatly inspired by a Carl Sagan speech. There are two short literal quotes from his speech.

Performances of this work

19 Jun 21: "Southern Cross Dreaming" Sunshine Coast Chamber Music Festival QLD. Featuring Karin Schaupp.

22 Aug 20: Brisbane (Livestream from home of artist). Featuring Karin Schaupp.

7 Nov 2019: at Karin Schaupp in Recital (Melbourne Recital Centre, Primrose Potter Salon). Featuring Karin Schaupp.

30 Jun 19: Carlton Theatre, Carlyle Gardens, Townsville QLD. Featuring Karin Schaupp.

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