Arts Blog

2017 Solar Eclipse Soundtrack, Body of the Moon

In August 2017, Oregon experienced its first total solar eclipse since 1979, and with it was a first for the station! All Classical Portland commissioned a piece of music to accompany this magnificent moment of totality: The Body of the Moon by composer Desmond Earley.

Aptly titled, The Body of the Moon, Earley’s new composition incorporates letters of Galileo, reflects the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, and speaks to the universality of this magnificent occurrence. Scored for choir, cello, and bass drum, performers include Portland’s outstanding choir the Resonance Ensemble, Oregon Symphony Orchestra principal cellist Nancy Ives, Chris Whyte of the Portland Percussion Group, and improvisational pop vocalist Erick Valle.

If you would like to relive the moment, you can listen to it here.

Earley comments: “The landscape of Oregon is so inspirational in and of itself, and I knew I wanted to capture the spirit of the region in the piece. Also, this amazing astronomical event calls for a piece of music that will match the once-in-a-lifetime experience that it’s going to be. My decision to feature a vocal pop artist stems from a desire to connect with the individual experience of witnessing the totality of the eclipse. The choir comments on the experience while the cello represents the soul of humanity. The bass drum adds palpable depth and resonance, pointing to the vastness and mystery of outer space.”

The Body of the Moon
Commissioned by All Classical Portland
(c) Desmond Earley 2017
(p) RMR Publishing 2017
Rod Evenson (Recording Engineer)
Leb Borgerson (Session Plotting)
Justin Phelps (Sound Mastering)
Master use with thanks to All Classical Portland

Resonance Ensemble
Nancy Ives (violoncello)
Chris Whyte (percussion)
Erick Vallé (vocals)
Katherine Fitzgibbon (conductor)
Desmond Earley (composer)

“The eclipse soundtrack rising up from the waterfront as I watched on a deck enhanced the entire experience – it was exquisite!” – Nan of SW Portland

“Thank you so much for the beautiful music chosen to accompany today’s eclipse.  Listening while viewing was thrilling and continuing to listen after the event has helped me prolong the magic of today’s event.  Thank you, again.” – Jill of NW Portland

“Thank you 89.9 for making this eclipse a shared event across the globe via the gorgeous music we’re all listening to. We need this global community now more than ever!” – Rebecca of SW Portland

“So happy that you are helping to make this celestial event a feast for the ears as well as for the eyes. Thanks for being there for us. I am at work, so will see the eclipse from Portland this morning, so no totality, but your musical accompaniment will complete the eclipse for me!” – Kent of Warren, OR

“I’m listening here at work in Memphis, TN… I’ll be headed out to the parking lot at 1:23 PM local time with my phone and earbuds (and solar glasses of course) to hear the new piece to be debuted by All Classical! Thanks for the great music this morning!” – Robbie of Memphis, TN

“Not sure how much obscuration will occur this close to the Mexican border (6 miles) but we’re outside watching…and listening! Thanks so much for the eclipse soundtrack!” – Coyote & Steve of Patagonia, AZ

“We are out here in far eastern Oregon on a ranch near Richland and listening to your eclipse soundtrack. What a marvelous experience! Thank you!” – Joy of Hillsboro

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