Boring Orbits (2020), ca. 24'
a musicle for tenor, strings and electronics with guest appearances by Benedict XVI., Brad Pitt and Barack Obama.
Because of what you have done, the heavens have become part of man's world.
– Richard Nixon on the phone to the astronauts on the moon, July 21, 1969
In this situation mediocrity and genius are equally useless.
I must tell you that we really have no desire to conquer any cosmos.
We want to extend the Earth up to its borders.
We don't know what to do with other worlds.
We don't need other worlds. We need a mirror.
We struggle to make contact, but we'll never achieve it.
We are in a ridiculous predicament of man pursuing a goal that he fears and that he really does not need. Man needs man.
– Doktor Snaut, kibernetik (played by Jüri Järvet in Solaris, Tarkovsky/Lem, 1972)
We are in what X calls “boring orbits.” Our orbit is such that we are mostly over oceans by day and continents by night.
– anonymized astronaut
Text by Mathias Monrad Møller and Joshua Evans, based on Unter der Großhirnrinde by Gottfried Benn (1911), the poem Entrückung by Stefan George, set to music by Schönberg in his String Quartet no. 2 f minor, and Dr Snout's monologue from Tarkovsky's Solaris; quotes from Elon Musk, Brad Pitt, NASA-astronaut's journals, The International Space Station: Operating an Outpost in the New Frontier, Felix Baumgartner, If I die on Mars Guardian documentary (Youtube).
Me as the astronaut. Foto by Gerald Geerink from the premiere production, Takkelloftet, Royal Opera House Copenhagen, October 2020.