This One Hour

Give your ears a taste:

Lyrics By: Robert Hunter

On top of the hill
I hear echoes in the starlight
Sweet voices from my past
Return in the night

The darkness is so vast
Slender moon like a smile
A thin teardrop of glass
I watch it awhile

My heart has flown away
With the wind so mild
It carries me, carries me to play
Like a child

For this one hour
For this one hour
On top of the hill
For this one hour

I'm with you again
In dreams I thought beyond recall
Of my family and my friends
Gone beyond the wall

I'd forgotten, forgotten how to cry
My heart has been dry
Now, now, now at long last
It opens like a flower

For this one hour
For this one hour
On top of the hill
On top of the hill

For this one hour
For this one hour
For this one hour
For this one hour
For this one hour

On top of the hill
On top of the hill
On top, way up on the hill
On top of the hill
Way up on the hill
On top of the hill
On top of the hill

For this one hour

© 2012 Ice Nine Publishing (ASCAP)

Sounds of the Universe

This One Hour is set within sounds created from the aurora borealis. This results due to the plasma that the sun constantly boils off and emits into space. These charged particles, protons and electrons, interact with the atoms in the earth’s atmosphere, acting as an injection of energy, which pushes electrons around the structure of the atom. When the atoms resettle, they release this energy as light particles, or photons. Oxygen gives off green light, while nitrogen emits light that is red or blue. The shape of these light clouds often follows force lines from the earth’s magnetic field, creating arc or spiral shapes. 

Datasets describing solar winds contain measurements of proton density and temperature. The sound is meant to suggest the colored shining lights by creating extended “flashing” sounds at a rate set from the proton density; these overlap to create an indistinct, shimmering cloud. Its brightness depends on the temperature, with higher temperatures increasing the brightness. 

In addition to the shining sound, there is a sound meant to suggest the presence of flying particles. These “particle sounds” appear at a rate that is proportional to the proton density, with their timbre changing with temperature. 

NASA/SDO/AFP/Getty (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/picture-galleries/9035636/The-Aurora-Borealis-or-Northern-Lights-in-Britain.html?image=7)

 

DATA SOURCE:  Polar Wind Geotail, Goddard Space Flight Center http://pwg.gsfc.nasa.gov/windnrt/archive/index.html

This track also includes sounds derived from the spectrum of the remnants of the supernova called the Crab Nebula. These are derived in the same way as the spectrum of the cosmic microwave background radiation (described in Slow Joe Rain), but with a popping, dusty sound added to the shimmery sound that plays the contour of the graph as a melody.

www.nasa.gov
 

DATA SOURCE: Berkeley Center for Cosmological Physics

Also in the mix are rhythms derived from the spectrum of the barred spiral galaxy in the constellation Eridanus (NGC1300) (see Starlight Starbright for more on sonifying galactic spectra). This galaxy was given sound meant to resemble a cosmic gong.

hubblesite.org
 

 

DATA SOURCE: NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database https://ned.ipac.caltech.edu/