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William and Caroline (Nebulae)

uploaded: Sun, May 17, 2009 @ 7:07 PM
FeaturingDr. Gregory L. Westbrook, Ph.D
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The European Space Agency recently launched the Herschel space telescope. William and Caroline Herschel lived fascinating lives.
William Herschel grew up the son of a German musician and gardener. He became a composer and an oboe player in his own right. At the age of 35, his interest in mathematics led him to astronomy. Along with his sister, Caroline, he became both a builder of
advanced telescopes and an astronomer. William Herschel discovered 2500 nebulae and the planet Uranus. Caroline, whose height only reached 4 feet 3 inches after a childhood bout with typhus, discovered in her own right two comets and several nebulae. William Herschel also gained fame in his day as a composer of charming symphonic music. In their day as in this, neither money nor astronomy paid well—but they used their “day jobs” as telescope makers to supplement their incomes.

This song is about looking through powerful telescopes into distant reality, and seeing melodies anew. I wanted to give the song that primitive synth monophonic sense of imagined celestial travels, with an periodic undercurrent of distant dark matter and nearby rocketry launching into space as a satellite observes.

Thanks to my old friend Dr. Gregory Westbrook, rocket scientist, who first inspired this song by playing a whistle note on a wilderness hickory shell and who is, like me, a product of the physics department of the University of Arkansas. Unlike me, Dr. Westbrook actually has skills in science and in math.

I hope the Herschel solves mysteries worthy of the best science fiction.

"William and Caroline (Nebulae)"
by gurdonark

2009 - Licensed under
Creative Commons
Noncommercial Sampling Plus

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