Class 4 musical space project
Inspired by the journey of Tim Peake, Class 4 undertook a space composition in their music lessons. We started with a power-point showing a variety of images, each with an associated musical task. We worked in groups of 3 to answer the task, choosing instruments, composing sound-scapes, creating variety and interest in the whole piece. At several points, we all joined in with one group’s sounds – counting or clapping, for example.
The tasks are set out below and you can listen to our music here.
Group 1: Blast-Off
The rocket blasts off from earth in a controlled and exciting start to the mission. There should be a military feel to this part of the music, and a regular beat that reflects the countdown. Include the contrast of the swirling clouds of gases.
Group 2: Earth from Space
The astronauts look back at the beauty of the earth and think about their families. They read their first postcard from home ~ a child writing to Daddy. Use tuned percussion and the words of the card as the basis of a gentle rhythm as the rocket travels on.
Group 3: Meteorite Storm
Suddenly the rocket is battered by a meteorite storm that swirls about the craft. Use percussion and vocal sounds to show a beginning, middle and end of the storm. Show how the astronauts cope with the ‘attack’ and make it clear that this is very frightening.
Group 4: Ground Control
Ground Control staff members need to communicate with the astronauts in a formal and organised way as they prepare for the moon landing. Use vocal words and phrases to create a ‘control conversation’ that has a formal and remote feeling.
Group 5: Robot Attack!
Immediately after the flag- planting the astronauts turn around to find robots behind them, sent by a rival power. Use percussion and vocal sound to show what happens next. Keep sounds clear and slow, just as movements slow down because there is less gravity here
Group 6: Command Module
Back on board the command module, the lone astronaut is orbiting the moon and waiting to be able to pick up his team. There is a technical problem because a solar panel was damaged in the storm. He has to go outside the rocket to repair it. Use his thoughts to create an arrhythmic poem, showing his fears and courage.
Group 7: Re-entry
Use un-tuned percussion and vocal sounds to show the danger and the heat of the re-entry phase of the mission. Although the re-entry itself is quick, vary the rhythm, perhaps using a musical version of freeze framing.
Group 8: Descent and splash down
Use tuned percussion to show how the rocket descends through the atmosphere, whirling and slowing down as it does so. Finish with a clear and triumphant splash down.
Group 9: ‘The Death of a Star’ by Brian Smallwood
Here is a painting that was painted to show what the death of a star might look like. Use tuned and un-tuned percussion as well as voice to show how this might be represented in sound. Consider how the colours could be shown, and make your piece of music decelerate as it draws towards the ending.