Astronomers tell us there are three principal forms of galaxies: spiral, elliptical, and peculiar. Many of the latter galaxies have peculiar shapes because they are undergoing a near miss or perhaps even a merger with another galaxy, as our own galaxy will experience when it meets up with the Andromeda galaxy in approximately four billion years.
The video imagery for this work consists of animations (with additional processing) of telescopic photographs of the galaxies NGC 1427A, NGC 4449, and NGC 6621. The pitches in this piece are based on a dorian scale, tuned in 5-limit just-intonation, that is friendly to both quartal and tertian harmonies (i.e., harmonies built of fourths or thirds, respectively). The simple-ratio arithmetic of the intervals in just-intonation is an expression of the Pythagorean notion of the cosmos as the manifestation of simple numerical relationships.
Music by: Samuel Pellman
Video by: Benjamin Salzman