ASTRA op.391 (November 1988)

Music for a TV and cinema film to launch the communications satellite
Published by: Highbridge Music Ltd
Commissioned by: Astra Communications/David Pilton
Instrumentation: 3333 6331 4pc hp pno/celeste,organ,ondes martenot (or solo vn or soprano)
[Key to Abbreviations]
First Performance: see op.381


Composer's note: The original 15-minute work (op.381) was edited down to 30 seconds for the purposes of this commercial. The work had come about through my recording contract with Sony. Executive Ian Groves had suggested to the directors of Astra Communicationa that I could write a huge orchestral piece to accompany the actual launch of the rocket from Nassau to be watched worldwide by satellite links. They visited my studio and a work for large orchestra lasting about 15 minutes was agreed upon. A lavish dinner took place at The Queen Elizabeth Suite in Westminster with many invited guests, including myself, interviewed on TV by Angela Rippon. Unfortunately a cloud appeared over the launching pad and although many of us stayed into the small hours it eventually became obvious that it would not happen that night. The piece, described by orchestrator Larry Ashmore as 'the biggest commercial music track ever written' was never played. However some four years later it did prove able to stand up as a concert work and was given its first performance in Kenwood with synchronised fireworks!

Related Works

'THE CONQUEST OF SPACE (MUSIC OF THE SPHERES)' op.381 (February 1988) (Audio Sample Available)

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