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Of Sound Before the Stars

from Of Sound Before the Stars by Jeff Talman


Los Angele Time Selection

"...music of otherworldly wonder is made as if for an ancient temple housing a religious icon. Harmonics blossomed from deep fundamentals as if stars from the divine hum that made the heavens."
Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times


'Of Sound Before the Stars,' an electronic sound composition of symphonic scale, was created solely from actual +13 billion-year-old sound data of the primeval Universe. This data carries the sonic resonance of the chaotic radiant light at the edge of the Universe from a time after the Big Bang, but before the first stars formed. The sounds surprisingly bristle with an ancient alien harmonic system adapted for use in the composition.

Doppler shifts transformed the original light waves into the microwaves we read today, +13 billion years later. Embedded in the ubiquitous cosmic microwave background, this ancient sonic data made possible the scientific reproduction of these primal cosmic sounds, as accomplished by cosmologist Dr. Mark Whittle, University of Virginia.

A sonic equivalent to luminous Doppler shifts, arching glissandos that glide from frequency to frequency and from four-dimensional point to point, take part in the virtual sonic choreography of the work.

This recording is a binaural stereo version of the original 7.2 installation sound. A program booklet is included. The sound is available in HD 48 kHz, 24-bit and other formats.

"High in heaven it shone,
Alive with all the thoughts, and hopes, and dreams
Of man's adventurous mind.
                       Up there, I knew
The explorers of the sky, the pioneers
Of science, now made ready to attack
That darkness once again, and win new worlds."

from "Watchers of the Sky," as Alfred Noyes chronicles the first operational moments of Mt. Wilson Observatory in 1917.


from Of Sound Before the Stars, released December 4, 2020
Jeff Talman, New York — Artist, Composer-Producer

Dr. Mark Whittle, University of Virginia — project source sound: modeled, scaled sound derived from early Universe sonic data embedded in the cosmic microwave background

Installation premiere — 100-inch-mirrored Hooker telescope dome, Mt. Wilson Observatory, San Gabriel Mountains, California, July 19, 2019.


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Jeff Talman New York, New York

Jeff Talman, pioneer of resonant composition, is known for the unique timbres, spatial gesture, harmony, expression and symphonic form in his work. His over 40 sound installations have led to an LA Times Selection for Best Classical Music of 2019. Before the installations, he first made electronic music as a teen in 1974, then studied composition and directed orchestras at Columbia University. ... more

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