It is possible, if not probable, that in my lifetime I will have the chance to view our planet from space. Like me, you too may enjoy contemplating what new perspective that experience would bring for humanity; the chance to survey our planet in context. How would it change us to see, firsthand, the Earth in its finite solitude?

The original premise for this commission from Melbourne Symphony Orchestra was to create a movement which would complement the intent of Holst’s The Planets suite by adding the Earth to the seven movements named after our neighbours in the Solar System – a daunting enough task, but with all the excitement and challenge of a large orchestral palette.

Deborah Cheetham Fraillon

Deborah Cheetham Fraillon. Photo © The University of Sydney/Stefanie Zingsheim

Somewhere along the way, Earth became a standalone work for this performance, changing some of my initial plans for the composition. But, as with each commission, the main point is to find your inspiration and begin.

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