for violin and electronics

Artwork: Gerrit Dou (1650-1655); Astronomer.
Instrumentation: violin and electronic
Duration: 12' 33"
Date: 19 June 2019Location: New York, New York, USA

“In 1596, an amateur astronomer by the name of David Fabricius (1564 - 1617) noted a long-period variable star, later called o (omicron) Ceti by Bayer (1603) Whilst using the star to determine the position of a planet Fabricius thought to be Mercury, he noted that it increased in brightness from magnitude 3 on August 3 to magnitude 2 on August 21 (Fabricius 1605). In September it had faded and by October it had vanished entirely. With such characteristics, Fabricius implied the star was a nova, but on February 15 1609, he observed that it had reappeared. Then practically forgotten, it was not until 1638 that Johann Fokkens Holwarda (1618 - 1651) rediscovered the star and determined its period to be 333 days, impressively close to the modern period determination of 332 days. In 1642, Johannes Hevelius of Danzig (1611 - 1687) gave the star its now familiar name of Mira, ‘the wonderful’, in his work Prodomus Astronomiae. Mira also fulfils the basic requirements to be the Star of Bethlehem, meaning the Gospel of Matthew may contain the earliest observation of the star (Sigismondi 2002). Mira is now known to be the brighter star (Mira A) in a binary system and is the prototype for the class of ‘Mira’ variables.” (Wareing 2008)

Read more: https://doi.org/10.1098/rsta.2008.0167

"Mira" (for violin and electronics) was dedicated to and will be premiered by Miranda Cuckson.