There isn't a whole lot out there for lovers of both music and astronomy. There's the odd Space-themed soundtrack (naming no names), and the ambient sounds of sonification, but what about something directly inspired by the cosmos?
I grew up listening to Gustav Holst's The Planets, long before I knew I would eventually study astronomy and space physics**. There is much to be said about the intersection between music and science, and I'm sure I will have more to write in the future. But for now, just a short post to celebrate Gustav Holst's birthday and his inspiration to both musicians and astronomers around the world. Holst's biographer, Michael Short, remarks:
"The enormity of the universe revealed by science cannot readily be grasped by the human brain, but the music of The Planets enables the mind to acquire some comprehension of the vastness of space where rational understanding fails."
Happy 173rd birthday to Gustav Holst!
**I used to own a copy of the entire score and would read it like a book, discarding homework on the floor of my room and wielding my pencil like a baton, pretending I was conducting the piece -- only to be startled out of my reveries by a passing parent, asking how my homework was coming along.