I’ve started composing some pieces to represent the moons of Jupiter. I won’t be writing pieces for every single one of them, because there are quite a few! Seventy-nine at the last count. But the main ones, whose names you may have heard of, such as Thebe, Callisto, Ganymede, Io, Europa, and Amalthea – they will be there.
My original idea was to write variations of parts of the majestic music written for Jupiter by Gustav Holst in his Planets Suite, but decided in the end that that would have become too much like an academic exercise. Then I was going to musically portray the mythical stories of these beings who came under the influence of Jupiter, King of the Gods. The problem with that approach was that they basically all have the same story, or variations thereof. Jupiter, or Zeus, has the hots for them and has his wicked way with them, and then usually one of his wives, slightly annoyed at this dalliance, would turn the woe-begotten damsel (or lad, in Ganymede’s case) into an animal as punishment for Jupiter’s actions. From there, many of them ended up in the sky, forming parts of the constellations.
So that approach was not going to work either – there are only so many ways you can portray rape musically. Hence my present approach – to have fun writing cosmic, spacey music, trying to speak a language made famous in so many movies, but to express something different in each piece. Ganymede, for example, is innocent and full of hope. Callisto is searching, reaching for something beyond. Io is ethereal, spectral, and slightly dystopian.
And that is as far as I have got so far. I will add to their number as I go along. But here are the first three tracks from my new work, The Moons of Jupiter.
Callisto – the searcher, the one who reaches.
Ganymede, the playful, the innocent, the young
Io, the cosmic, the disillusioned.