(Visit Angelee's main music page, Horns of Elfland. Or visit our home page, Sangreal.)
Orion, the Hunter

THE CONSTELLATIONS

Musical Pieces
by Angelee Sailer Anderson
and Others

Orion, the Hunter


This project, conceived by my husband Stan, involves the composition of an instrumental piece for each of the 88 constellations. (Since a piano has 88 keys, the humorous notion of having one key represent each constellation has already been suggested by several people.) Undoubtedly, the project was inspired by one of our favourite musical works, Gustav Holst's The Planets.

The variety among the constellations has the potential to inspire a wide variety of musical "commentary" on them. Unfortunately for the completion prospects of our project, 88 pieces will take a lot of composing.

So far, seven pieces of this huge compilation have been completed. Three have been written exclusively by myself, two by a musician friend, Steve Timmerman, one was co-written by Steve and myself, and one was co-written by Stan and me. These are:


Orion

This is my (and a lot of other people's) favourite constellation. I consider Orion my "lover in the sky" because of a story Stan once told me about him (see the description of my future novel, The Bands of Orion, on my Ashes to Easter page). This piece was composed by me, and features church bells, strings, a wind ensemble, "Hackbrett," and percussion, in a majestic minor key hymn to the Belted One.


The Southern Crown

This piece, exclusively by me, relies heavily on tuned percussion sounds used in counterpoint, and has a hypnotic, "antipodean" flavour to it.


The Northern Crown

This piece is one of the few in which I have used an electronic sound, in this case electric guitar. Martial in mood, the piece also features organ, violin, horns, "orchestral crash," timpani and cymbal rolls.


The Raven

This piece, reminiscent of Irish folk melody, was conceived by Steve Timmerman and completed by myself. Violin, musette, and tin flute dominate it.


The Bird of Paradise

This is a very short but lovely Japanese-influenced piece for koto by Steve Timmerman.


The Chemical Furnace

A short piece with amusing percussive sound effects by Steve, this is perfectly descriptive of its subject.


Berenice's Hair

This was originally a guitar solo by Stan, which he said reminded him of me. He asked me to arrange it for him, and it now contains two guitar parts, flute, glockenspiel, and violin, as well as a new melody in its midsection. It is rather impressionistic (I had Debussy in mind when I arranged it).



What follows is a complete list of the 88 constellations which we hope to have immortalized in music one day.