1. Milky Way – performed by the Borealis Quartet, Christopher Blaber (vibraphone) and Thomas Beckman (viola)
2. Concourse to Destiny – performed by Jarrett Plett (space drum) and Thomas Beckman (viola)
3. Exoplanets - performed by Borealis Quartet, Christopher Blaber (vibraphone) and Thomas Beckman (viola)
4. Solar Planets – performed by Borealis Quartet, Christopher Blaber (vibraphone), Jarrett Plett (cajon), and Thomas Beckman (viola)
5. Earth – performed by the Borealis Quartet, Christopher Blaber (vibraphone), Jarrett Plett (cajon), and Thomas Beckman (viola)
Life in the Universe was produced to accompany a 25 minute video assembled by the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre that led an examination of the various parts of the known universe likely to harbour life or the elements necessary for the origination of life as we know it. The main motif ‘A-A-C’ first heard via the vibraphone serves as a cryptogram for the element H20 (H-O-O), one of the most vital ingredients for organic life. Other traditional effects such as recurring dotted rhythms and hair pinned dynamics or crescendos and diminuendos streak the work to underlie the constant movement throughout the video.
The Life in the Universe score is fundamentally programmatic, reflecting in pace and mood the planetarium-born visuals. As we fly through the Milky Way, hurtle past exoplanets, stop for a view from the surface of a fictitious planet, and then enter our own solar system, passing the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, we finally arrive at planet Earth, source of all known life. Life in the Universe was premiered on October 19th, 2018 at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre Star Theatre in celebration of the museum’s 50th anniversary.
Composed and produced by Thomas Beckman
Recorded at the SAE Institute, North Vancouver, BC.
Edited by Dalton Rouse
Mixed by Sam Ryan
Special thanks to Michael Unger and Lisa McIntosh
Redshift Records TK465 © Thomas Beckman
CMC associate composer and violist, Thomas Beckman (b.1984) serves as in-house composer for the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network, Festival composer for the Artists for Conservation and as principal violist of the Prince George Symphony. His projects have varied widely from one to another, composing film scores for independent shorts and documentaries to composing concert music for well known groups within the province of BC, such as the Borealis String Quartet, the Vancouver Youth Choir, the Prince George Symphony, the Postmodern Camerata, the Vancouver Symphony and the Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra. His St. Roch Suite for orchestra and choir premiered earlier this year with the PGSO.