Six songs from the red planet (2001)



Soprano, Flute, Piano, and Cello

Commissioned by: Hope Wechkin.

Premiere: January 2002, Frye Art Museum, Seattle, The Sorelle Ensemble.

Notable Performance: April 2005, Seattle Asian Art Museum, The Sorelle Ensemble.




I. Neret Scandes (A Farmer’s Song from Hellas)
II. No Epel (A Civil War Tune from Amenthes)
III. Sa elon ni Voles (A Cowboy’s Ballad from Tharsis) IV. Ho Noem (A Lullaby from Memnonia)
V. Rowd dan Dosund (A Dance Tune from Thaumasia) VI. Leev Lanag (A Spiritual from Noachis)

Translations by Alissa Rupp Commissioned by and dedicated to Hope Wechkin

Performance Notes:

Accidentals last throughout the measure, and apply only to that register.

Program Notes

Beginning in 1965 radio-telescope engineers working in the desert near Sante Fe received a series of transmissions that were eventually traced to the planet Mars. It is believed that these transmissions were sent several million years ago, and that they originated as regional folk songs from six different geographical areas on the planet.

These song settings were inspired by the original melodies and syllables received in the mid 60’s. The translations are by Alissa Rupp, an earth-based poet and linguist who was chosen by scientists to interpret the songs received in the transmission. Rupp’s poems are not literal translations, but instead are meant to be representative of the spirit and intent of the original Martian songs.

For pictures and information about the various regions, visit the web site of the recent Mars explorer, Unfortunately, the musical transmissions are still highly controversial, and do not appear on the official NASA web site.