Ares Vallis, by Samuel Pellman

Ares Vallis

a composition of digital sounds
in two channels

duration - 14'30"
Here is a 39 second audio clip: (mp3 File, 608K)


By coincidence this piece was completed on the twentieth anniversary of the first successful landing of a craft from Earth on the planet Mars on July 20, 1976. For many people, the Viking missions affirmed a sense that humankind was about to commence an extraordinarily significant period of historical development.

The title of the work, Ares Vallis ("Mars Valley"), refers to an ancient floodplain on Mars that on July 4, 1997 became the landing site for the Mars Pathfinder spacecraft. Although the pace of exploration has turned out to be much slower than many of us had hoped, the dream remains. Eventually, perhaps sometime during the twenty-first century, the human species will establish itself on Mars and other bodies in the solar system.



This piece was composed in the Studio for Contemporary Music at Hamilton College, in Clinton, New York. A Kurzweil K2000RS was used for the control and playback of sampled sounds. Other sounds were digitally synthesized by Yamaha TX802 tone modules. A Macintosh Centris 650 was at the center of the studio setup. Software used in the design and control of the sounds in this piece include Digidesign's Sound Designer and Turbosynth, Arboretum's Hyperprism, Passport's Alchemy, Tom Erbe's SoundHack, and Opcode's Studio Vision Pro and Galaxy Plus Editors. Mixing was done on a Yamaha DMP9-16, with external processing by a Lexicon PCM-70. Some overdubbing was accomplished with an Alesis ADAT. The mix down deck for the piece was a Panasonic SV3700 DAT recorder.

The form of Ares Vallis is based on sonata principles, with formal proportions based on a Fibonacci number series. For the most part, just tuning is employed.
Biographical information about the composer can be found here.
Ares Vallis is published by the Continental Music Press.
copyright 1996 Samuel Pellman. All Rights Reserved.
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