In 2006, the committee of human beings who officially decide such things decided on what the criteria were for considering a celestial body a “planet,” simultaneously demoting the body Pluto from a “planet” to a “dwarf planet.” Nine years later, on humankind’s closest fly-by to date, Pluto revealed to us a suspiciously heart-shaped coloration on its surface… the largest known heart-shape in the solar system. Hmm…
What does this have to do with singing? Space exploration is cool. The sheer vastness of space is awe-inspiring. Looking up at the night sky gives most people a sense for how small a thing our lives really are—and how precious. The Voyager 1 space-probe has been travelling for 36 years and has only just gotten outside of the influence of our sun into genuinely interstellar space.
Sing, little earth-bound beings, sing. It’s what we do. We’d better get to it.
Your Prompt: sing a song inspired by humankind’s exploration of space, by telescope, probe, and/or manned-mission. Sing a song for the vastness of space and our place in it. Sing a song for Pluto, a celetial body unfathomably far from here that doesn’t care what we name it, but shows us its heart.
This song is not an example. But let’s let it serve as a funny inspiration!
It’s good to have options. Here are ways to perhaps make the prompt a bit easier, or ways to go a bit further with it.
Option A: Night Sky, Naked Eye – for an easier stretch, let’s concretize it a bit. Spend some time this weekend under the night sky. Bonus if it’s a clear night and you catch sight of the Moon, or Jupiter and Venus. Extra bonus if you are in a low-light-pollution environment and you see the stars or the Milky Way. Then, as soon as is practical after (or during) your evening sojourn, sing to capture (or re-capture) your feeling of gazing up into space.
Option B: The Minds of the Planets – for a deeper stretch, time for a lot of abstraction and perhaps a bit of anthromorphizing. We talk about Mother Earth sometimes, imagining that the complex interating of the things in the biosphere itself constitutes a kind of life. Some go further, supposing that Gaia has its own intelligence that we’re too limited to recognize. For this Option, suppose that there is a sense in which this is the actual truth, and that the other planets and bodies in our solar system have their own unfathomable intelligence as well. What do they sing to one another? Sing your interpretation of that. (For example: does Pluto, in fact, forgive humankind for its demotion?)
The steps are as follows:
- Step 0: Sign up for a free SoundCloud account here. Join the SSS group.
- Step 1: Record yourself singing your space-exploration song.
- Step 2: Upload to SoundCloud and post the track to the SSS group.
- Step 3: Listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow singers. (Play nice!)
Deadline: Your tracks should be uploaded by midnight wherever you are on Monday, July 13, 2015.
Length: The length of your finished work should be about 2 to 5 minutes, or however long you need to sing your space-exploration song.
Description: It would be awesome to include a short description of where and when you sang your piece—and how it felt.
Title/Tag: When uploading to SoundCloud, put “[sss-pluto]” in the title of your track. Also include the term “sss-pluto” as a tag. This will help us find it.
Group: Once the track is uploaded, click on the “Add to group” button below the waveform and make sure to select the Society for Spontaneous Singing group. (This option will only appear if you have already joined the group! So do that now.)
Linking: You are welcome to include this info in your description:
This track is a reply to “SSS Prompt 24: I Heart Pluto!” More on the Society for Spontaneous Singing at http://singthis.org. You can join the SSS at https://soundcloud.com/groups/society-for-spontaneous-singing
Thank you, sweet singers!