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18 March 2019

Music For The Planet – Episode 5: Perpetuum

This could hypnotize you. Indeed, it is meant to, so just let your mind float. Below you will find the player with ‘Earthbound‘ by Seán Doran, a real-time video reconstruction of time-lapse photography taken from NASA’s ISS (International Space Station). Check out Seán’s channel for more stunning content. I invite you to tune into those images and then press play to listen to Perpetuum.

It will be like having a live-video clip, and I can assure you it’s worth it.


The piano starts a soft ostinato and nothing else is around it. Gently, from the second 22, the sub-bass of the organ begins to rise while the piano continues. From the second 44, an atmospheric synthesizer shades coloring the sound texture together with a polyphon which plays rhythmically 3 notes every 2 bars. This basso continuo is the core of the whole piece, around which melodic textures with harmonious interlocking will manifest themselves. The main theme starts from the second 58 with the piano layered with a synth that enriches it, giving it space. From minute 01.33 a new atmospheric synth together with a hang drum become part of the initial fixed sound body. From this moment, the piano continues the main theme, but the synth that dubbed it stands out by harmonizing the melodic line with a new voice. From minute 02.10, enters the section of the strings that harmonizes, in turn, the main theme. At this point, the theme is proposed in a continuous and dynamic way. Each instrument harmonizes the others and vice versa. A melodic spiral, a continuous motion as the period of rotation of the Earth.

Dive Into The Matter

We often focus our attention on what happens on the Earth’s surface, but sometimes it is good to change perspective in order to better understand concepts.

As mentioned in Episode 0, what was always missing were human eyes that got far enough away so that the planet’s entire, 360-degree face fit into a frame. Once we had that perspective, thanks to The Blue Marble, we saw our world anew: a tiny, fragile bauble in an infinity of blackness, something manifestly worth taking better care of.

Observing our planet from the outside gives us the ability to monitor phenomena that would be difficult to understand otherwise. Only by becoming fully aware of what is happening, and only by intervening with unified global actions that engage all of us individually, can we think of solving this problem. Political and social skepticism about climate change is embarrassing and unacceptable. The only way to combat this epidemic of misinformation is to actually inform oneself and others.

Take Action: NASA’s Vital Signs of the Planet Program

When people think of NASA, they think of rovers on Mars, astronauts floating aboard the International Space Station, or probes veering out to the edge of the solar system. They don’t necessarily link NASA with climate research and observations. But Earth is a planet too, and NASA is one of the biggest players in the Earth science arena, with broad expertise on observing our climate, especially from the vantage point of space. Today it spends over a billion dollars a year doing Earth science and has more than a dozen satellites in orbit around the planet watching the oceans, land, ice, atmosphere and biosphere.

Today, we know that our climate is changing at an unprecedented rate and that humans are a key part of that change. NASA continues to launch new satellite missions, and is also relying on aircraft (manned and unmanned), as well as scientists on the ground, to take vital measurements of things like snowpack and hurricanes, augmenting the big-picture view we get from space.

NASA’s role is to make observations of our Earth system that can be used by the public, policymakers and to support strategic decisions. Its job is to do rigorous science. However, the agency does not promote particular climate policies.

Their website is user-friendly, full of outstanding reports and scientific data. I beg you to visit it, to get informed, and to spread the word with everyone you know.