For the fourth piece in the Spacey Odyssey series I wanted something more lively and grandiose, so I looked in Holst's Mars. The structure of the first section of Mars appears very similar to Ravel's Bolero with one huge exception, Ravel has two continuous melodies flowing, one minor, one major. Holst has virtually no melody, just big chords designed to rattle the rafters. In several instances he has the entire orchestra, piccolo to double bass, playing the same rhythm. (Just beat us over the head with a two by four, why don't ya.) If there are any good ideas in this piece they come from Ravel. My apologies to Williams. I blamed him for the excess brass, percussion and noise in the space genre, but the original culprit seems to be Holst. I did glean one good idea from Mars. After several minutes of percussion, brass, and bombast, he ends with a string flourish, which provides a welcome contrast. So I ended with a string flourish.
The scenario: The intro portrays the blast off of Voyager I in 1977. The probe then deploys its antennae and turns on its cameras to begin an epic excursion through the planets to interstellar space. Midway through it encounters space pirates. (I hate it when that happens.) By popular demand I have included pirate music that ends in a round. With a name like Voyager there has to be a nautical theme, though instead of plying the waves of the ocean, Voyager is plying the electromagnetic waves of the solar system. Later it passes out of the solar system into the vast and majestic regions of interstellar space.
Voyager I is still sending back data some forty years later. It is the most distant man made object, at 37 astronomical units, 12,500,000,000 miles away. Let's put that in perspective. The cost of the entire Voyager program was 865 million. 8.65 X 10 to the 8th divided by 1.25 X 10 to the 10th miles is 6.92 X 10 to the -2nd or .0692 dollars per mile. Or roughly 7 cents per mile. That's the most efficient transportation the U.S.
Government has ever done. I can think of several politicians who should be on that flight.
All comments are welcome.