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Under the Moon

“By the time she had finished unburdening herself, someone had turned off the moon” ― Gabriel García Márquez, Love in the Time of Cholera

Quite by accident I find myself reading, or having recently read, two stories about the destruction of the moon.  In the first story the moon basically dies of old age although it’s strongly suggested that this process was hastened by the increasingly mercenary attitude of humans.  Having lost a certain sense of romance in their continuing addiction to blind consumerism, humans no longer appreciate the moon and it wastes away and dies.

In the other story the moon just suddenly blows up one day for no apparent reason that anyone can discover.   There’s no sound and no fury, it just blows up and where there was a moon there are now seven distinct chunks of former moon.

The seven moon chunks hold the former moon’s orbit so at first it seems like everything will be alright but then scientists figure out that the moon chunks will strike each other over and over again making smaller and smaller chunks many of which will rain down on the Earth until eventually there will be a continuous rain of former moon chunks that will wipe out all life on the planet and create a system of dust particle rings like Saturn has.

The world’s leaders have to tell everyone that they’re going to die horrible deaths within the next two years. Unless you vote straight ticket ha ha.  But seriously no, everyone is doomed.

They then choose the smartest and most useful people they can find to blast into space and live in a space station for two thousand years until things calm down and they can come back to Earth and start over again, which would be like stretching your legs after the world’s longest road trip.

The first story recently inspired a piece of music but I made a vow long ago never to write disaster music so I’m staying away from the second as inspiration and reading it merely for enjoyment although honestly it’s a bit more about how the space station works than I would like and not so much about how seven-plus billion people would handle the knowledge that they have less than two years to live which I have to admit is more interesting to me than the inner workings of a space station designed to last two thousand years though I can see why for some engineering-minded people that would be the interesting part so I hardly fault the author.

At any rate the first story is the Daughters of the Moon by Italo Calvino and it’s part of his Cosmicomics collection of short stories which I first read in college thanks to a teacher whose name I no longer remember.  I’m planning to write a large-scale work inspired by several of the stories and the first is, you guessed it, Daughters of the Moon.

It’s for clarinet, violin and cello and will be premiered at the next Concept Lab on March 31st, the complete info for which is below along with a few other performances.  Viva la luna!

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