Mercury’s composition: 40% Arpeggio Modulations, 25% Synths, 25% Guitar Feedback, 10% Other
Internal structure: The closest to Life Bringer got advantages and disadvantages of it’s own. Guitar Feedback element transforms the inability of gazing in Sun’s eyes too close, fighting for stability. But it’s the First Sphere to receive the food of Life and the breath of Death, and so, Arpeggio Modulations element transmit the stories form their Father to the Brothers and Sisters in their home. Synths join to celebrate Mercury’s destiny.
Mercury’s atmosphere: Nervousness from unknown and Calmness of familiar.
Venus’s composition: 90% Synths, 10% Bell
Internal structure: Truths and lies for the stories are arranged, ready for passing on to the next Sphere(s). Structures analyzed in depth, polished to hide blinding details. Heard from distance to salute the beauty of forms, flawless and well packed, music for the ear and food for the thought.
Venus’s atmosphere: Admiration for stories and Acceptance of Beauty.
Earth’s composition: 70% Organ, 20% Guitar Effects, 5% Cymbals, 5% Drum
Internal structure: The first thing you’ll listen is the melody of the organ, bringer of mood, it starts direct and focused, dictates the shape, forming the Core. Guitar element is swirling around the melody trying to loose the formed structure, heralds freedom and improvisation, spiraling up or down with waves of Cymbals element and becomes symbiotic fuse with Organ in the Mantle. The Drum element is forming the Crust, tight, hard, and making safe place for breathing and reproduction. Occasionally Organ erupts on the surface unfocused and loose.
Earth’s atmosphere: Dominating Melancholy with more than a half of Earth’s atmosphere followed by Haunting and with a little taste of Trance Like State generated by the Drum element.
Mars’s composition: 80% Guitar Strings, 10% Arpeggio Modulations, 5% Drum Rhythm, 5% Cymbals
Internal structure: Tight, focused, everything is in the right place nothing goes unchecked, no place for errors. From one tone to countless others they are forming unbreakable structure, building patterns one by one so that
nothing can tear down the formation.
Mars’s atmosphere: Determination surrounds whole Sphere, the power of Will gives strength and hope.
Jupiter’s composition: 100% Electronic Effects and Modulations
Internal structure: Storms of sounds, battles for domination, nothing is static and patterns are meaningless.
Jupiter’s atmosphere: Strangeness all around, hard to focus, Lost in the wilderness
Saturn’s composition: 90% Guitars, 10% Synth Modulations
Internal structure: Like the neighbors too, this Sphere got problems focusing. Swirling and bouncing inside, manage to attract audience around.
Tiny little Guitar sounds are gathering to watch the spectacle. With the echo of their steps, rings of glory spin.
Saturn’s atmosphere: Nonetheless of the Confusion this Sphere brings, there is something, Uplifting from those spinning sounds over and over
Uranus’s composition: 60% Electronic Effects, 15% Wind, 10% Guitar Effects, 10% Strings, 5% Other
Internal structure: All elements go in different direction but with no hurry at all following their own destinies, intercepting
the inhabitants for the first time, roaming free.
Uranus’s atmosphere: The structure of the Sphere brings Loneliness and Awe, you are on your own. Every place is free to go if you dare.
Neptune’s composition: 50% Synth Strings and Modulations, 30% Electronic Effects, 20% Bell
Internal structure: Bell keeps the Sphere spinning, consistent, expected, disables the stray, the Strings Modulations wrapped around, glued to the Bell, serve for the opposite function.
Neptune’s atmosphere: Even the clearest tone is washed by Distance.
A musical representation of the eight planets of our solar system: that’s an ambitious and daunting project. It isn’t pulled off frequently, but when it happens, there’s two classic archetypes to measure them against.
There’s Gustav Holst, who painted the planets from his imagination and their role in folklore and tradition. Then, there’s the NASA Voyager Recordings, a scientific but not less poetic picture of the spheres.
Sferi’s Sound of the Spheres, released in three parts, is an amalgam of both, sometimes drawing inspiration from the space radiation itself, sometimes from the more traditional, anthropomorphic representation of the spheres. And plenty of times it’s a carefully crafted bit of both.
Merkur is such a mixture. It starts off with a phaser effect that resembles its fast (fast!) revolution. When the electronics kick in, there’s strange transmissions bouncing off its iron core. The fast tempo and a disorienting soundscape are very musical impressions, but they sound very much based on Mercury’s natural occurrence.
Venera. Earth’s evil twin is a gem in the sky, and for ages it shone in tales of beauty and love. Only recently have those stories been overcast by knowledge of the planet’s “tragic” faith. The string sound and glockenspiel theme capture that melancholy of Venus’ beauty gone warped. One of the highlights of the series.
Zemja, or Earth starts with synths much like Venera, but has a darker timbre and a melody of your typical funeral doom metal drone. Not a planet I want to wake up on. This is a painting of Earth billions of years ago, snowball earth, or the one with thick carbon clouds and stromatolites blobbing around.
Mars is as figurative as Holst’s most famous piece, but for different reasons. This is no Bringer of War. Here is a planet painted as a mad circus. These days, Mars’ crazy geography does indeed seem a more apt epithet than its ‘war-like’ red color. This composition is brilliant, but perhaps drags on a bit.
Planet Jupiter, when recorded by both Voyagers, sounds somewhat like a possessed singing bowl. So does this track, only do the noise toppings sound a little more structured than the real thing.
Saturn is guitar strumming topped with noise. Liner notes say the sphere has problems focusing, and at first the jam does feel like it’s going nowhere, only to shift into a Sonic Youth’s J’accuse Ted Hughes-kind of drone halfway.
Uran bears the most resemblance to the Voyager Recordings, but not quite. Holst’s Uranus was a sorcerer, and the finale of this piece, with it’s sharp notes, evokes the same danger of forbidden magic, before settling down into a mix of shortwave signals again.
Neptun, the last great gas giant, is not so different. Again, the synth sounds flow slowly like the singing bowls of NASA, but do so in an organized manner throughout the track. A bell sound determines the rhythm along which eery synths are modulated. Image the odd hexagon shape discovered on the planets south pole, and you’re in for a scary ride.
Not kidding, but planets are really far away. Like, man. Even with probes and data sheets and telescopes as big as your average Trans-Neptunian Object, they’re only faint dots and digitally colored bitmaps. It’s only our imagination that brings them closer to home. Have a listen to Sferi’s Sounds of the Spheres, and maybe its imagery will make you peek at the still-mysterious grainy deep space. Or Google’s hi-res version of it.