The Planets

Background

The Planets is a live music set derived from the score commissioned by the Melbourne Planetarium for the show Launch Pad. The Launch Pad score required a range of musical styles to represent each of the solar systems planets. Cliches and icons were embraced: Venus is très sexy; Mars is metal; etc. All tracks were composed in song format as opposed to employing any sort of 'ambient scoring' content. The response to the music was that it could work in a live setting, so now it has become both a live set, with a CD release of some of the tracks.

The music can basically be described as space-age-bachelor-pad electronica. The samples are eclectic and the songs' arrangements reference the ornate and highly melodic approach taken to easy-music orchestration. Beats are combined in some tracks; a few are beatless. The faux-metal track sticks out a bit, but so it should.

Credits

Composition, production & mix - Philip Brophy

2009

CD + DVD-A released on Sound Punch Records

2004

Loop, Melbourne

2003

First Floor, Melbourne
Revolver, Melbourne

Overview

The originating commission Launch Pad for the Melbourne Planetarium parodied excessive/bombastic Top 10 Countdown formats to present information about the solar system to school kids. Two 'radio DJ' characters narrate and guide us through our solar planetary system. The music score for Launch Pad involved composing 10 discrete instrumental tracks/themes which reflected a perceivable 'character' for each of the planets. A range of musical genres was employed as basic frameworks for each section of the narrative. For example, Venus features sexy electronic choir effects while Mars features pounding toms and heavy metal guitar, and so on. The bulk of these tracks were then slightly reworked to form the live set of The Planets:

Neptune (minimal teutonic techno)
Venus (lush erotic electronica)
Pluto (symphonic ambient)
Mars (metal rock remix)
Asteroid Belt (chemical big-beat)
Mercury (trippy rock freak-beat)
Uranus (weirdo electric lounge)
Jupiter (electronic muzak)
Earth (cheesy jazz groove) Saturn (dub+bass melodica)


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Technical

All compositions for The Planets were composed and constructed on the ASR10+ sampling workstation. The source samples came from a library of 'easy listening' vinyl records from the last of the Melbourne radio stations playing such music - 3AK Beautiful Music.