A Planet Without a Star (2018)


Fixed Media (version with live pianist also available)

About the piece

Growing up, I've always learned about how stars eventually die.  They either shrink to a tiny cold core, explode in a glorious supernova, or become a black hole.  Even our own star is doomed to die billions of years from now.  But one day I realized: what happens to the planets that once revolved their shining burning star?  If they survive the wake of a dying star, the planet is left floating aimlessly in space.  In complete darkness and cold.  Completely lonely with no partner in the dance of gravity.  Even our instruments on Earth can barely detect them.  That is terrifying to me.  

I eerily finished this piece on March 14, 2018 - the day Stephen Hawking died.  His death hit me harder than I expected because it represented a loss of innocence for me.  He was big part of my childhood thanks to my father.  My father wasn't like a typical father; he didn't play catch with me or taught me how to shave.  But he was a man of science, and he instilled a wonder of the cosmos in me as early as I can remember.  Before I was a teenager, I already understood the vastness of universe, the properties of light and time, about dark matter, string theory, and particle accelerators.  We looked through telescopes together and visited observatories regularly.  My dad with Stephen Hawking's book is one of my earliest memories.  

I used only my Moog Sub37.  It's a duophonic synthesizer that I've always used to perform with my rock band.  For this piece, I gave myself a caveat that I cannot use any of the presets the synth has.  I can only use the panel and create my own tones using the two oscillators, modulators, filter, and other functions that are available.  There is also piano in this piece, and this piece can be adapted to a live performance with a pianist.