Messenger, by Samuel Pellman


a composition of digital sounds
in two channels

duration - 2'51" 

Here is a 35 second audio clip from the middle of the piece: mp3 File (556K)


During the second half of the twentieth century, we began to break free of the bonds of our planet's gravity and began to explore the worlds in the space above the blanket of our atmosphere. Among the first of these worlds visited by our robotic explorers was the planet Mercury, named for the mythological messenger of the gods. When visited by the Mariner 10 spacecraft in the early 1970's it was discovered to be an airless, superheated, heavily cratered, and essentially colorless world. But, beneath this apparent austerity is a relatively large core of turbulent, molten metal. In the next few years, this and other intriguing features of the planet will be studied by the Messenger space probe, due for launch in 2004. This piece is a tribute to the efforts of those who are pressing on with this exploration.


Nearly all of the sounds in Messenger are transformations of the recorded sounds of a novelty item called a Thunder Tube and of a pair of metal shelf brackets clanging together. These sounds were extensively time stretched, dynamically transposed, and spectrally groomed with AudioSculpt. Further processing was accomplished in Pro Tools with the flange-o-tron and frequency shift Pluggo plugins from cycling74 and with the Comb Filter, Reson, and Doppler plugins from GRM Tools. A slight filigree of metallic sounds from a Kurzweil K2500RS highlights the texture. The pitches of the principal sounds in the texture are tuned in a 5-limit just intonation based on the harmonic series of the Thunder Tube.

Biographical information about the composer can be found here. 
Messenger is published by the Continental Music Press.
copyright 2003 Samuel Pellman. All Rights Reserved. 

To obtain performance materials or for further information, contact: .