Solar WolvZ (2019)

Symphony Orchestra

Duration: 13 minutes | Composed: 2019 | World Premiere Perth, Australia | Performed by the Western Australia Youth Orchestra July 14 2019 | Conducted by Benjamin Northey.

3(pic).3(EH).3(Bass).3(contra)/ harp/piano/strings

This work is based on a very peculiar chain of ideas, all related to meteors, comets, and any unpredictable objects in space. The title for the whole work was chosen with the nature of meteors and comets in mind. They’re usually alone, their temperament is to follow a path until they either ‘eat’ something (such as eating into the face of a planet or moon), and they’re graceful, dangerous, and wild. Wolves were the perfect metaphor for this. The ‘-Lves’ of Wolves has been altered to ‘lvZ’ to tie the concept back to the earth, quite literally, in that it stands for ‘Low velocity Zone’, a zone within the Earth’s upper mantle which is crucial for absorbing seismic waves.
I – Spiderling The first step in conceiving a direction of inspiration for this piece began with the discovery of the Spider Crater in Western Australia (16°44′22″S 126°5′25″E). I was looking for interesting Australian meteor impact sites because of an article I had read about the increasingly popular scientific practice of listening and interpreting age-old Aboriginal Legends that have been aurally transmitted from the times in which natural disasters such as meteor strikes, earthquakes, and sudden rises in sea levels occurred. The Spider Crater is inaccessible (except perhaps by helicopter), but it’s landsat image is quite incredible. The first movement, “Spiderling” is based on this curious crater.
II - Oortian From the Spider Crater, a stunning geological structure created at least 500 million years ago by a meteor impact, we then depart Earth and jump past the solar system to arrive at the Oort Cloud. This sphere of icy objects completely surrounds our solar system and is believed to be the origin of several of the ‘long-period’ comets that we know of. Interference from the nearby passage of a star, nebula, or various actions along the milkyway disk can dislodge cometary nuclei and knock it into our solar system, straight towards the sun. The second movement is titled “Oortian” as ‘being of the Oort Cloud’.
III - Volarist The final movement in this piece is titled “Volarist”, meaning a ‘flyer’ of sorts. It is inspired by “Ouamama”, the only known interstellar object that has passed through our solar system. It was discovered, already tumbling its way out of the system again, on the 19th October 2017. It’s dark red in colour, and suspected to be either highly elongated or extremely flat in shape. Appearing to our telescopes as only a point source of light, it was difficult to accurately see at the time.