Maybe you know this photo and the story behind it, maybe you don’t. This photo was taken by the Voyager 1 mission on February 14, 1990. From a distance of 6 billion kilometers you can see the Earth as an almost imperceptible point of light due to the Sun’s glare.
That same day Voyager 1 took a mosaic of 60 photographs entitled Family Portrait, including this photograph of Earth, which was used by Carl Sagan for his book “A Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space”.
“It has been said that astronomy is humbling and character-building. Perhaps there is no better demonstration of the folly of human concepts than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to treat each other better, and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we have ever known.”Carl Sagan
I have tried to tell over and over again how I think about my works, how each of the processes, each of the stages take place.
I have notebooks and notepads written with sketches and thoughts, directions, ideas, possible sounds.
I ask myself…
why do I write so much?
But I know it’s part of the process, just what I’m doing right now, at this very moment, the words I write help me to order the information of the work, to see beyond, to imagine new things.
I’m starting a new radio storytelling project with the Goethe-Institut of Uruguay.
The work is entitled “Entre Marte y Júpiter” (Between Mars and Jupiter), a bilingual (Spanish/German) experimental radio project that has as its main focus the story of two Uruguayan women astronomers who have been recognized for their work with the naming of two asteroids that are in orbit between Mars and Jupiter.
The commission of this work is really open, they are giving me the freedom to experiment with the story, a total confidence, that is really something that enriches any artist in his career, it is the moment to put into practice new ideas, new ways of realization.
At the same time, not everything is experimentation, the final work has to be coherent with the idea that one presents. To achieve a balance between pushing the limits and strengthening what is already known.
I was given the chance to choose the theme of the story and I found this particular story fascinating.
For planetary scientists, one of the greatest events is that the International Astronomical Union designates a celestial body with its name.
The International Astronomical Union is the governing body of professional astronomers worldwide, responsible among other things for assigning names to asteroids, comets and geological features of the planets and their moons.
Meeting these two Uruguayan women, whom I will talk about later, learning about their lives and their achievements in this field was very meaningful to me.
In addition to the challenge of the work, to enter a world that has always fascinated me since I was a child but of which I have no real experience.
Undoubtedly, this work is the first one based on a very complex subject of which I know absolutely nothing. That is why I seek to surprise myself with the events that I find along the way as I advance in the research. To turn this enthusiasm into a sound work where the sound design is the main narration, the language, the language an accompaniment, a guide.
My first foray into the field of astronomy was when I was very young, a very particular book about stellar cartography that was around my house. I remember that I was fascinated by the maps and the rather convoluted explanations to see the stars. Although I didn’t understand much, it was one of the books I always chose to pass the time.
Two weeks ago I started my research, reading a beautiful book entitled “Asteroids Relics of Ancient Time” by Michael K. Shepard, together with “The Music of the Spheres. Astronomy and Mathematics” by Rosa María Ros, an excellent book that I bought more than a year ago at the bus station in Rosario (Sta Fe-AR) without even knowing that it would be fundamental for a sound work.
I’m also taking a virtual course on astronomy, which I highly recommend, taught by astronomer Guillermo Goldes of the National University of Córdoba.
With each step I take the universe opens up a little more, that’s how this process begins.
-Shepard, M.K (2015), Asteroids Relics of Ancient Time, UK, Ed:Cambridge University Press.
-Ros, R.M (2010), La música de las esferas. Astronomía y matemáticas, España, Ed:RBA
-Sagan, C (1994), Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space, USA, Ed:Random House
-Curso Astronomía virtual Universidad Nacional de Córdoba: https://www.unc.edu.ar/campus-virtual/un-curso-para-entusiastas-por-la-observaci%C3%B3n-del-cielo-y-astr%C3%B3nomos-aficionados