Musical Works Orchestral

Little Star Began To Sing

Little Star
Click to listen to a sample
Little Star
Click to listen to a sample
Little Star
Click to listen to a sample
Little Star
Click to listen to a sample

Commissioned by: Fred Applewhite & the Junior Guildhall String Ensemble
Duration: 13:00
Instrumentation: Symphony Orchestra String Section
Performance Details: First performance at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Barbican, London
Date:February 3 2001
Conductor: Fred Applewhite

Second Performance: Riga, Latvia
Date: November 17, 2001
Performers: Latvian National Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Kriss Russman

Programme Notes:
Little Star is the most powerful radio telescope in Northern Europe, and stands in a clearing in a pine forest in what is now Latvia. For years it was a top-secret listening post, and was lucky to survive the break-up of the Soviet Union, as the Russians wanted it destroyed for security reasons.
Now saved by a group of enthusiastic Latvian astronomers, it is being brought back to life to search the cosmos for quasars, black holes and all manner of celestial bodies. I am grateful to BBC News correspondent William Horsley, whose inspiring report I heard on the BBC World Service in May 2000, describing this awesome machine scanning the universe, and emitting eerie high harmonic sounds as it ‘locked-on’ to something significant in the heavens. These actual harmonics are mirrored in the music - to quote his report: “...it seemed that Little Star began to sing.” It was the combination of William Horsley’s wonderfully descriptive prose, and then hearing the actual sounds of the telescope, together with my long running obsession with space and a commitment to look out from our planet, that gave rise to this piece. The first performance was given at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in the Barbican Centre, City of London, on February 3rd, 2001 in the presence of H.E. the Latvian Ambassador Mr Normans Penke accompanied by Mrs Dace Penke and their daughter Agnes.

Little Star
Click to play video

Little Star Began to Sing:
BBC Worldservice TV
Little Star
Click to listen to a sample

BBC World Service Interview
with Michael Omer


Return to Top
Return to Orchestral Index

All Content Copyright © Michael Omer Website Designed by Clinton Smith Design Consultants