I’ve been obsessed with space since the first grade. I knew every obscure fact about every planet and could recite the entire history of the universe. I'm fascinated by the extremes that are involved- hot and cold, slow and fast, big and small.
“The Planets” features nine originals arranged for a different ensemble on each track. The music is a mix of ECM-inspired small-group playing, angular contemporary jazz, reimagined string quartets, and synth-driven sound collages.
Each piece is inspired by one of the eight planets plus Pluto, but the track names obscure the connection on purpose. For me, calling a song “Mercury” feels too abstract–it doesn’t say anything about the emotional content of the piece. It’s also pretty unoriginal. I’d much rather extract a concept from that planet and write a song based on that idea (Mercury has a 3:2 spin resonance with the Sun, so I latched on to this numerical relationship in the rhythms within the opening track “Resonance”).
The craziest part about the universe is that it doesn’t care if we’re not here. Humans need to become a multi-planetary species one day soon, and hopefully not so we can destroy another world like we’re doing to the Earth, but so that our species can live on in the event of a catastrophic natural disaster.
Thanks for listening,
All tracks contain Ethan Chilton on trumpet
1. Resonance: Thornton Jazz Orchestra + The Planets String Orchestra: Emily Hsu, Alex Mansour, Quenton Blache, Cameron Audras, Annelise Haukenes
2. Caldera: Nicole McCabe on alto sax, Jon Hatamiya on trombone, Ben Ring on drums, Logan Kane on bass, Teis Semey on guitar, Michael Orenstein on keys
3. Pale Blue Dot: Ben McPeek on alto sax, Branden Brown on flute, Ben Ring on drums, Logan Kane on bass, Teis Semey on guitar, Michael Orenstein on keys
4. Rust: Sam Reid on piano, Cyrus Elia on bass, Luke Woodle on drums
5. Little Star: Michael Orenstein on piano, Cyrus Elia on bass, Luke Woodle on drums + The Planets String Orchestra
6. Time: Ben Ring on drums, Logan Kane on bass, Ethan Chilton on synthesizers
7. Father Sky: Nicole McCabe on alto sax, Teis Semey on guitar, Cyrus Elia on bass, Luke Woodle on drums
8. Voyager: The Planets String Orchestra
9. New Horizons: Sam Reid on piano, Cyrus Elia on bass, Luke Woodle on drums, The Planets String Orchestra
10. Deepest Field (BONUS TRACK)
All tracks composed and mixed by Ethan Chilton
Tracks 1-9 Mastered by Maahir Shah