Classical Musician

Trip to Mars – a symphonic piece determined by chance!

Trip to Mars is a thrilling piece for symphony orchestra, with optional choir, and optional orchestral parts designed for younger players.

Part of the GREAT BIG series, this is an exciting extension piece following on from the GREAT BIG Little Symphony, suitable for a community – for narrator and large symphony orchestra, with optional choir and instrumental parts for young players (who can pretend they are in a space pod!). The musical journey is dangerous and fraught with risk. Trip to Mars is a sequence of short transitions which are determined by the rolling of enormous dice – throw evens and the journey is positive, but throw odds and the Trip to Mars is easily thrown off course! In fact, in some performances, Mars is never reached. Watch out for floating debris, aliens, or even overshooting Mars itself. For more information, please go to Contact and ask Peter for more details. Listen here to a version of Trip to Mars (at the speed of light) – recorded using the software Note Performer but with sounds from the live world premiere (JAGS 2018) ’embedded’ at times in the mix!

The following sequence of movements is determined by rolling dice before the performance – roll an odd number for ‘a’ options, roll evens for ‘b’! 10c is an obligatory follow-on if you end up meeting Aliens in 9b…

1.Preparations – 2a Excellent start / 2b A spot of engine trouble – 3.Up, up and away – 4.Space – 5a Contact with earth / 5b Oh no…lost contact with earth – 6a What’s that? Debris? / 6b Look! A satellite – 7a Near miss! / 7b We’ve been hit – 8 S-s-strange S-s-signals – 9a Powerthrust to Mars / 9b Aliens! – 10a Have we overshot Mars? / 10b On course for Mars / 10c Escape from aliens – 11a In danger of going off course / 11b Mars within sights – 12a Mission accomplished! We’ve landed on Mars! / 12b Abort mission! Return to Venus!