Tips #5 – The Great Conjunction

I made a Spotify playlist to listen while watching Jupiter and Saturn’s ‘cosmic kiss’. With the selection of music, I portray the conjunction as a love affair.

Ik heb een Spotify-afspeellijst gemaakt bij de zeldzame ‘kosmische kus’ van Jupiter en Saturnus. De geselecteerde muziek volgt de beeldspraak van een liefdesaffaire.

Ēriks Ešenvalds

For a cappella choir and six water-tuned glasses (2011), lyrics by Sara Teasdale (1930).

Alone in the night
On a dark hill
With pines around me
Spicy and still
And a heaven full of stars
Over my head
White and topaz
And misty red;
Myriads with beating
Hearts of fire
The aeons
Cannot vex or tire;
Up the dome of heaven
Like a great hill
I watch them marching
Stately and still
And I know that I
Am honored to be
Of so much majesty

Brian Eno

From the soundtrack ‘Atmospheres and Soundtracks’ for the documentary ‘Apollo’, later entitled ‘For All Mankind’ (1983).

Gustav Holst
Jupiter and Saturnus

Two movements from his orchestral suite ‘The Planets’ (1916), portraying the planets as gods and heroes from Roman mythology: ‘Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity’ and ‘Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age’.

Hildegard von Bingen
Karitas habundat

Antiphon, to accompany a psalm (12th century).

habundat in omnia,
de imis excellentissima
super sidera
atque amantissima
in omnia,
quia summo regi osculum pacis
abounds in all,
from the depths exalted and excelling
over every star,
and most beloved
of all,
for to the highest King the kiss of peace
she gave.

Daniel Herskedal
The Mistral Noir

A dark, majestic wind translated into sound by composer and tubist Daniel Herskedal (2015).

Pale Honey
Lay All Your Love on Me

Cover of the ABBA classic by Swedish rock band Pale Honey (2017), originally written by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus (1981).

I wasn’t jealous before we met
Now every woman I see is a potential threat
And I’m possessive, it isn’t nice
You’ve heard me saying that smoking was my only vice
But now it isn’t true
Now everything is new
And all I’ve learned has overturned
I beg of you
Don’t go wasting your emotion
Lay all your love on me
It was like shooting a sitting duck
A little smalltalk, a smile and baby I was stuck
I still don’t know what you’ve done with me
A grown-up woman should never fall so easily
I feel a kind of fear
When I don’t have you near
Unsatisfied, I skip my pride
I beg you dear
I’ve had a few little love affairs
They didn’t last very long and they’ve been pretty scarce
I used to think I was sensible
It makes the truth even more incomprehensible
‘Cause everything is new
And everything is you
And all I’ve learned has overturned
What can I do

You Know I Have to Go

Featuring Jamie Irrepressible, from ‘The Inevitable End’ (2014).

You know I have to go
There’s nothing more to say
‘Cause you’re better off alone
It’s got to be this way
You know I’ve got to go
There’s nothing more to say
Surely you will know
In the light of day
I’ve learnt how to stay gracious in defeat
‘Cause I’ve never been victorious
And now you offer me to feel complete
You’ve given me your trust
‘Cause I wanna give the honesty you need
Nothing false or dubious
I want us to be all that we can be
I want this for the two of us
Wish I had the courage to explain
To let myself be heard
I wish there was a way to break the chain
But I struggle with the words
Say you wanna take me to your bed
But it’s hard to know
Maybe it’s because we’re off our heads
Maybe this is love

György Ligeti

The lovers’ ways are separated again, leaving a space that only seems empty, but is full of meaning and memory. Ligeti’s ‘Atmosphères’ (1961) is the same: the musicians play tiny repeated motives, together creating a rich texture that is static and dynamic at once.

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