Can Music Notes Convey Sounds of Moon and Stars
Bijan Norouz’s music group has recently released an album, which is to a great deal different from other music albums. Astronomical concepts are conveyed by their music to any audience interested in this field.
The whole process of composing, music note writing, studio recording, mixing, mastering, graphic designing and even publishing of the album was done by the group. That was because no one accepted to cooperate in producing the first album; therefore, the whole process has been fulfilled by the group itself. As a result of their perseverance, they are now working on their second album.
Speaking to IRNA, Bijan Norouz mentioned that their music style is known around the world as a combination of electronic and new-age music. He added, “Our concentration in music is on the scientific issues to contribute to popularization of science and help the interested people to learn more about astronomical phenomena.”
Bijan Norouz added, “There is music which is composed specially for astronomical content of some films, phenomena, and documentaries; however, it is not concentrated just on those subjects. When the movie or series is made, the band’s job is over. Contrary to that, our band’s concentration is solely concentrated on astronomical music. We have had some goals to achieve, but, in the beginning, no musical company was willing to cooperate with us.”
A composer who intends to work in the field of astronomy needs to have related knowledge. They not only need to be aware of science of music, but they also need astronomy and space science. In this regard, Bijan Norouz explained, “Once Hans Zimmer was composing music for the “Interstellar”, he had experts of different fields by his side: from a physicist who provides some clues about the properties of a black hole, who could be helpful in composing related music, to psychologists who could be of help in sensation, color and frequency.
The whole process should be fulfilled in composing astronomical music. That’s why they tried to work based on such standards to have effective results. Bijan Norouz has studied physics, audio engineering and music. He also receives help from his friend in other countries.
Bijan Norouz said, “The music album Gravity is published together with the film. Some parts of films were made before and some after the music production by the group. To produce the album, we took the work prints of important astronomical phenomena from space laboratories in other countries. I have physicist friends around the world who cooperated in gathering the film sections. After planning a project and explaining the theme to it, my friends send me different films based on what I need.
Clarifying why their album is scientific, rather than just a musical style, Bijan Norouz said, “The music of the Gravity album is not only being composed in a scientific process, but also we consider the scientific, technological and engineering facts in producing. Therefore, there are few composers around the world who intend to produce such kind of music. Most composers usually prefer to relegate it to the orchestral bands and symphonies. Therefore, taking the symphony from them, there will remain no particular essence in the music.
Bijan Norouz added, “The kind of music we make is conceptual, and our goal is to make people contemplate about the subject. Thought is the most important matter in this type of music.”
About the Gravity album, which has five tracks he said, “The track Life of the Sun in which we have used the voice of Stephen William Hawking is the first track. We sent him an email before his death and we were allowed to use his voice. Unfortunately, he passed away before the album was published. The track explains about how long the Sun will be alive and that how long we will have the sunlight. We have used NASA films in this track.
The Light of the Earth is the next track in which we have shown the light pollution of cities from outside the Earth, this is while light pollution has always been shown from inside the Earth. But the film we have used in this track belongs to the space station.
The Voice of Our Earth, the third track of this album, contains a 15-minute film. The track starts with shuttle launch from the Earth station and the sound of the wireless communication of some famous people. In the beginning, Neil Armstrong explains about the Earth phenomena and shows them. Producing such a film was easy, but the legal process of licensing was not that easy. We had to explain how the music accompanies the film. Most experts are not aware of different genres and styles of music and don’t know how astronomical music works.
The forth track is named the Northern Aurora. The Aurora phenomenon in the north of Ireland is really different from what happens in Scandinavia. The work prints of the film related to this track were taken by photographers on the ground and the films taken by satellites.
The last track of the musical album is about the nuclear explosions. The whole work prints are gathered from all the nuclear explosions. This was the only track unrelated to astronomy. We intended to show nuclear fusion as well.
About unveiling of the album, he said, “It was of a great importance to us to unveil the album in an astronomy-related place; so we chose Gonbad-e-Mina planetarium, which convinced to let us do it after long negotiations. Eventually, the good event took place.”
Translated by: Fatemeh Hematian